Smoking in pregnancy

Smoking in pregnancy has well known detrimental effects for the growth and development of the baby and health of the mother. Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious pregnancy-related health problems. These include complications during labour and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, low birth-weight and sudden unexpected death in infancy.

Reducing smoking during pregnancy is one of the three national ambitions in the Tobacco Control Plan published in July 2017, which is “reducing smoking amongst pregnant women (measured at time of giving birth) to 6% by the end of 2022”.[1]

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery are published on a quarterly basis by NHS Digital to monitor the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy.

Key findings (2022/23)

  • Lancashire-12 area's Smoking at Time of Delivery (SATOD) rate (10.9%) remains significantly higher than the England rate (8.8%). However, the recent trend, in line with the national picture, is showing a decline.
  • Blackpool (19.4%) has the highest SATOD rate in the country, although the recent trend is showing a decline. In Blackburn with Darwen, 11.0% of pregnant women are known to be smokers at the time of delivery, with the recent trend (based on most recent five years) showing no significant change. Both Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen's SATOD rates remain significantly higher than the England rate.
  • Across the Lancashire-12 districts, in Pendle and Burnley (12.7%), Rossendale and Hyndburn (12.6%), Ribble Valley (12.1%) and Lancaster (10.5%) the rate of pregnant women known to be smokers at the time of delivery is significantly higher than the England rate.

Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) SATOD rates (2022/23)

  • Across the NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria's Sub-ICB locations, SATOD rates range from 19.4% (NHS Blackpool) and 12.6% (NHS East Lancashire) to 8.9% in NHS Chorley and South Ribble; England|8.8%.
  • SATOD rates in the following Sub-ICB locations, along with the North West region (10.3%), are higher than the England rate: NHS Blackburn with Darwen (11.0%), NHS Blackpool (19.4%), NHS East Lancashire (12.6%), NHS Greater Preston (10.2%) and NHS Morecambe Bay (10.4%).
  • In all Lancashire and South Cumbria Sub-ICB locations the SATOD rate is above the current national ambition of 6% or less.
  • Smoking status is unknown for some maternities and therefore caution should be used when making comparisons with earlier periods and between locations. In Lancashire and South Cumbria Sub-ICB locations, the average percentage of maternities with an unknown smoking status is 3.1% (NHS Blackburn with Darwen|0.6%), NHS Blackpool|0.2%, NHS Chorley and South Ribble|10.1%, NHS East Lancashire|0.5%, NHS Fylde and Wyre|1.6%, NHS Greater Preston|11.0%, NHS Morecambe Bay|0.6%, NHS West Lancashire|0.5%), compared to 4.0% at the national level (2022/23).

For further information, at county, UA and district level, please see below.

[1] Towards a Smokefree Generation -A Tobacco Control Plan for England 

Page updated November 2023