MORE than one in eight women giving birth in Calderdale are still smoking at the time of delivery.
Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 12.9 per cent of Calderdale women giving birth in 2011/12 still classed themselves as a smoker.
The results are in line with the national picture, where 13 per cent of all women giving birth in England in 2011/12 were smokers.
Figures for Yorkshire showed nearly one in six of women giving birth were smokers.
The region with the highest percentage of smokers was the north east, where one in five women smoked at the time of birth.
Calderdale’s figures for 2011/12 are better than for 2010/11, when 13.3 per cent still smoked.
Paul Butcher, deputy director of public health at NHS Calderdale, said: “While Calderdale has a slightly lower rate of women smoking compared to other areas we would like to see this rate fall much faster than is currently projected. “Further emphasis on supporting quitters and encouraging young people to not start smoking continue to be a major priority for the area.
“Stopping smoking is the single most effective action you can take to improve your own physical health and that of your family.
“There is lots of support to help women quit smoking.
“The NHS Calderdale Stop smoking service provides free support to pregnant women who want to quit across various settings in communities – contact them on 01422 281505 for details.”
Tim Straughan, chief executive of HSCIC said: “This report enables us to see how many women class themselves as a smoker at the time they give birth.
“It shows a general reduction over time in the percentage of women who still smoke when their baby is born, with an evident north-south divide.
“This is important data for the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan, published in March 2011, which aims to reduce rates of smoking throughout pregnancy to 11 per cent or less by the end of 2015.”