Smoking in Pregnancy

In Devon, around one in eight women smoke in pregnancy (12.2%). This is similar to the national rate of 12% and below the south west rate of 13%. The impact of smoking in pregnancy is significant. Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to contribute to 40% of all infant deaths, by increasing the risk of cot death, risk of premature birth and poorer lung function than babies born to non-smoking mothers. Children born to mothers who smoke are also more likely to become smokers themselves later in life. Smoking at delivery varies by age with younger mothers in their teens and twenties more likely to smoke than mothers in their thirties and forties. Highest smoking rates are in the deprived populations and are the leading factor in increased health inequalities amongst babies. In Devon, rates in most deprived areas are almost five times higher than those in the least deprived areas, at 25.7% compared to 5.4%.