Smoking in pregnancy


  • Each year there are around 4,000 births to Wakefield mums.
  • Fewer women in Wakefield are smoking in pregnancy; however Wakefield remains an outlier when compared to our neighbours and the national average.
  • Smoking in pregnancy rates are highest in the most deprived areas in Wakefield.
  • Young mums, under the age of 20 have the highest smoking in pregnancy rates.
  • Airedale and Ferry Fryston and South Elmsall and South Kirkby are the electoral wards with the highest smoking at time of delivery rate, Stanley and Outwood East has the lowest rate.

The population

On average there are around 4,000 births each year in Wakefield; most women are aged between 20 to 30 years when they give birth, birth rates are higher in the more deprived areas in Wakefield. More information about births can be found on the following here. Smoking in pregnancy is the single biggest change that can improve the health of mum and baby. It is the single biggest risk factor for still birth, it increases the risk of serious pregnancy related complications and complications during labour; it also increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, sudden unexpected death in infancy, and is associated with respiratory problems such as pneumonia and asthma which may lead to death in babies or infants. Higher rates of miscarriage in women from more deprived areas, found nationally, can be partly explained by the higher rates of smoking in pregnancy, making stopping smoking the single most effective thing we can do to reduce these risks.  

Key facts about smoking in pregnancy in Wakefield District


The challenges

Smoking in pregnancy rates are much higher in Wakefield District than elsewhere. Although fewer women are smoking in pregnancy, Wakefield District has one of the highest smoking in pregnancy rates in the country. You can use the ‘Geography version’ dropdown to see different indicators.

The inequality

The following interactive dashboards look at smoking in pregnancy in Wakefield. This dashboard shows smoking prevalence at time of booking and smoking prevalence at time of delivery over time. You can use the interactive dashboard to select the indicator you are interested in and also select specific areas, to see how things have changed over time. Smoking in Pregnancy by area This dashboard shows smoking in pregnancy by areas in Wakefield District.  You can select which smoking indicator you want to look at from the menu on the right side; choose either smoking at time of booking or smoking at time of delivery. This will then show the smoking rates for that indicator by area.  You can also change the area type (e.g. electoral ward or deprivation) and year.   Smoking in pregnancy is higher in more deprived areas.

Trends in Smoking in Pregnancy

Smoking in Pregnancy by age This dashboard shows smoking prevalence at time of booking and smoking prevalence at time of delivery by age of mother. You can use the interactive dashboard to select the indicator you are interested in and the year, to see how things smoking prevalence varies by age. Younger mums have higher smoking rates.

Map showing Smoking in Pregnancy This dashboard shows smoking prevalence at time of booking and smoking prevalence at time of delivery by electoral ward on a map. You can use the interactive dashboard to select the indicator you are interested in and the year, to see visually how wards compare to each other.

Service provision

Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield  is a local, free service for pregnant women to support them to quit smoking whilst they are pregnant and stay quit once their baby is born. They offer:
  • Products available on prescription to help people quit
  • Carbon Monoxide testing
  • Support to help people quit smoking
  • Advice and encouragement to stay smoke free
  • Tips on how to cope with cravings
  • Help to keep going when it's needed
  • Help for partners and family members too
  • Advice on how to stay stopped once their baby is born
  • Appointments available at many central locations including Pontefract, Castleford, Normanton, Knottingley and Wakefield. Home visits are also available, if required.
Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield, Agbrigg Community Centre, Montague Street, Wakefield, WF1 5BB Telephone: 01924 252 174   Smoking cessation midwife champion - In December 2016 NHS England (NHSE) granted additional non-recurrent funding to 26 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) with the highest rates of smoking at time of delivery (SATOD) to increase the implementation of key NICE recommendations to reduce smoking in pregnancy (NICE guidelines PH 26 and PH 48). This included Wakefield CCG where SATOD rates at the time were 18.3% (Quarter 3 of 2015/16, NHS Digital data), against an average rate in England overall of 10.6%. The Public Health Team at Wakefield Council, CCG leads and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust worked developed a role for a Stop Smoking Champion Midwife.  The role of the Stop Smoking Champion Midwife was to:
        • Reduce the smoking at time of delivery rate in Wakefield
        • Reduce inequity in the rate of smoking at time of delivery in communities
        • Work with key stakeholders to implement the NICE smoking in pregnancy recommendations (NICE, 2010) and National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training- Smoking Cessation: a briefing for midwifery staff document
        • Evaluate the maternal smoking pathway and adherence to NICE smoking in pregnancy guidance
        • Identify barriers within the midwifery service to successful delivery of advice and support to women smoking during pregnancy
        • Develop and implement strategies to overcome these barriers, in line with NICE recommendations
        • Identify training needs and implement a training programme within the midwifery service, across the multi-disciplinary team (including support staff and medical staff)
        • Work with local communities and key professionals, e.g. Children’s First hubs, to increase awareness of the importance of smoking cessation during pregnancy, avoidance of tobacco smoke and inequity of impact across communities
        • Plan, lead and deliver high quality smoking cessation advice and support for pregnant women within the Wakefield and District locality
        • Work with other members of the multidisciplinary team in the implementation of specific aspects of national and Trust guidelines
    • The role has been very successful in working across Mid Yorkshire, with other services including the stop smoking service and communities. As a result of this success the role has been extended until 2020 with plans to further evaluate and hopefully continue as part of mainstream services.
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