The number of pregnant mums who smoke around the time their child is born has fallen in Wolverhampton - though health chiefs say the figure is still far too high.

Latest data shows that just under 17% of mothers of babies born between April and June smoked, compared to nearly 19% of new mums the same time last year.

And while the drop has been welcomed by Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, she said that too many new mums are still putting their health and wellbeing - and that of their child - at risk by smoking.

She said: "Wolverhampton has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country, and we know that smoking in pregnancy is a key factor in this.

"To tackle this, we've put services in place to identify women early in their pregnancy and help them to stop smoking prior to the birth of their baby, and we also promote the importance of providing a smoke free environment at home to mums and dads.

"It is pleasing to see that this is starting to have an impact with the number of new mums who smoke around the time of birth falling on last year, but the numbers are still far too high.

"Smoking in pregnancy increases the likelihood of your baby being still born, or premature which can cause additional breathing, feeding and health problems, while passive smoking puts young children at risk of respiratory infections, meningitis and asthma.

"The message is clear; too many new parents are putting the health and wellbeing of their child at risk by smoking. The good news is that there is plenty of help and support available to parents who wish to stop smoking."

For help and advice to quit smoking, please contact Wolverhampton Stop Smoking Service, which offers a specialist pregnancy service, home visits and one to one support in GP practices, pharmacies and drop in clinics, on 0800 073 4242 or 01902 444246. Alternatively visit Type=links;Linkid=5080;Title=Smokefree NHS;Target=_blank; for a range of free support and quitting advice.

  • released: Monday 26 October, 2015