Smoking during pregnancy drops in Hackney

The number of women in Hackney who classed themselves as a smoker when they had their baby has fallen to the lowest rate in the borough since recording began eight years ago.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show 4.8 per cent of women were smokers when they gave birth in 2012/13, compared to 6.2 per cent in 2005/06. The London average is 5.7 per cent.

Smoking during pregnancy can cause a range of serious health problems for babies, including low birth weight. It can also lead to premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and can even cause a baby to die in the first few weeks of his or her life.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for health, social care and culture, urged pregnant women to take up the support offered by the council and other health services in the borough to stop smoking.

Carolyn Bovelle, a specialist midwife at Homerton University Hospital who supports pregnant women to stop smoking, said: “We are pleased to see that our work is having a real impact on the health of mothers and their babies in Hackney.

“I work closely with our Stop Smoking team to provide women and their partners with support and advice about how to stop smoking during pregnancy and, we hope, after baby is born.”

According to the British Medical Association’s Board of Science and Education around a third of all perinatal deaths in the UK are caused by the mum smoking.

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To contact Carolyn Bovelle, specialist midwife, call 020 8510 7732 or email