The proportion of women who realise their plans to stop smoking during pregnancy has dropped by 12 per cent in a year, according to figures released today.
Information Centre statistics show of the 18,928 pregnant women who set a date to quit last year, less than half, or 8,641, were successful. This compares with 9,817 out of 18,977 the year before.
Royal College of Midwives professional policy advisor Janet Fyle said: “It is disappointing to see the figures going in the wrong direction.
“There is ample evidence on the impact of smoking on the health of the pregnant mother and child, and we advise all women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to do their best to give up smoking.”
Overall, 671,259 people set a quit date through the services in 2008-09 compared with the previous year, a decrease of 1 per cent.
Half of people who set a date to stop smoking had been successful four weeks later, a 4 per cent drop compared with 2007-08.
This is despite the fact that spending on NHS stop smoking services was £74m, 21 per cent more than the previous year.