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More Women Are Smoking While Pregnant Than Ever Before

More Women Are Smoking While Pregnant Than Ever Before

It is no secret that puffing away on cigarettes is really, really bad for your health, so learning that more women than ever are continuing to smoke while they are pregnant may come as a shock.

Rates of smoking while having a bun in the oven have increased for the first time on record, according to official NHS figures.

In 2017/18, the data showed that 10.8 per cent of women smoked cigs at the time of delivery, a 0.1 per cent increase on the year before.

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This growth has been blamed on cuts to the smoking cessation services in the UK, reports the Mirror.

Smoking while pregnant had fallen from 15.8 per cent to 10.7 per cent in a decade, meaning this is the first time in 10 years that the rate has gone up.

These rates vary across the country too, with more mamas-to-be in the north continuing to use cigarettes.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay
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Lancashire has the highest number of women smoking at 16.1 per cent, with an average of 15.8 per cent in the North East. Only five per cent of pregnant women in London smoked, which is less than a third of women in Lancashire.

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England's public health budget was cut by £200million back in 2015/16, and this figure is set to decrease by £331million by 2021.

Action on Smoking and Health's Hazel Cheeseman told the paper: "The failure to support mums-to-be to quit puts babies' lives at risk."

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said the government was determined to cut the rates of smoking in pregnancy down to 6 per cent by 2022.

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Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

The risks of continuing to smoke while expecting a baby are serious, and there is a heightened risk of miscarriage, still birth and sudden infant death syndrome, according to the NHS website.

Smoking can restrict the flow of oxygen to your baby seriously affecting its growth, and your baba will most likely be born addicted to nicotine. The risk of cot death also increases to 25 per cent.

For more help, support and advice on stopping smoking while pregnant, visit the NHS website here or ASH Charity here.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay/Pexels

Topics: government, Pregnancy, Real, Parenting, NHS, Health

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Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - [email protected]