More than one in ten babies across Sussex are born to mothers who smoke.
New figures published today (June 18) by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 11.4 per cent of pregnant women across the UK were recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth in 2014-2015.
Smoking in pregnancy remains a major risk factor in sudden infant deaths.Francine Bates
Across East Sussex and West Sussex, 11 per cent of mothers were smoking at the time of giving birth – 1,461 mothers our of a total of 13,200 maternities.
Of the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) across Sussex, HSCIC found Coastal West Sussex and Hastings and Rother scored the highest. Figures for Coastal West Sussex found 12.6 per cent – 574 out of 4,553 mothers smoked, while Hastings and Rother scored 21 per cent – 352 mothers out of 1,676 mothers who gave birth that year.
Eastbourne Hailsham and Seaford CCG scored 12.9 per cent while High Weald Lewes Havens scored under half at 6.1 per cent.
Horsham and Mid Sussex ranked the lowest in Sussex with 5.2 per cent and Crawley scored 7 per cent with 119 out of 1,691 mothers smoking.
Nationally, the latest figure is lower than in 2013-14 which was 12 per cent – continuing the steady decline from 2006-2007 (15.1 per cent) to become the lowest on record.
A spokesman for HSCIC said: “Since data were first collected in 2006-07, the number of maternities has risen by 3.6 per cent (from 601,260), whilst the number of women recorded as smokers at the time of giving birth has fallen by 22.0 per cent (from 90,890).
“Of the 211 clinical commissioning groups in England, 43.0 per cent (90 out of 211) have met the national ambition to reduce rates of smoking throughout pregnancy to 11 per cent or less by the end of 2015.”
Francine Bates, Chief Executive of the Lullaby Trust and Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group said: “Smoking in pregnancy remains a major risk factor in sudden infant deaths.
“When the Government publishes its new tobacco control strategy we want to see strong commitment to further action reduce smoking in pregnancy.”
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