13% of pregnant women in Cornwall and Isles and Scilly still smoking

Latest figures show that nearly 650 women in Cornwall smoked during their pregnancy in 2016/17, making up around 13 percent of all pregnant women last year. 

Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of a premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, diabetes and heart complications. For a mum to be, quitting smoking is one of the things they can do to give their baby the best possible start in life. 

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The national Tobacco Control Plan for England, ‘Towards a Smokefree Generation’, has set a target to reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy to six percent or lower by 2022 so the South West has some way to go to reach this target. 

Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health said “The prevalence in Cornwall has decreased in recent years but there is still more work to be done. Much of this progress is down to the key role that midwives play in having conversations with women early in their pregnancies, and offering them help and support to quit. 

“Smoking in pregnancy can harm the baby in the womb from day one, so stopping smoking is one of the best things a women can do to protect the health of their baby through pregnancy and beyond. Whilst there are immediate gains if a woman quits, an even more successful approach is if partners and wider family also cease smoking."

Stop Smoking support is available from Cornwall Council’s Healthy Cornwall team on 01209 615600 or visit the Healthy Cornwall website.

As part of this service specialist ‘Healthy Pregnancy’ advisors work closely with midwives to support pregnant women; their partners and other family members to quit smoking. The advisors also offer advice around vaping and e-cigarettes and actively promote the importance of smoke-free environments during pregnancy and following birth. 

Specialist pregnancy advisors and general advisors are available across the county delivering creative and innovative smoking cessation at a wide range of locations including community venues; family hubs/children’s centres; GP practices and Royal Cornwall Hospital sites.

Story posted 14 March 2018