New stats show smoking in pregnancy not falling

on 02 July 2019 Smoking NHS Digital

More investment in stop smoking services needed says RCM

Today statistics on smoking have been published by NHS Digital. On smoking in pregnancy the statistics show that just under 11% of pregnant women were known to be smokers at the time of delivery in 2018-19. This is similar to the level recorded in 2017-18, but down from 15% in 2008/09.

Commenting the figures, Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "It is very concerning that the number of smokers in pregnancy is not falling.

"The devastating effects of smoking in pregnancy are well documented, particularly the link between smoking in pregnancy and stillbirths.

"A concerted effort is need to target areas where smoking levels remain high and this means more investment in specialist stop smoking services to support women to quit."

See the RCM's Position Statement 'Support to quit smoking in pregnancy'. 

Also see the NHS Digital 'Statistics on Smoking: England 2019'.  

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at