Official figures have revealed that significant numbers of pregnant women in England were known to be smokers when they gave birth during a three-month period this year.
According to statistics from NHS Digital, 10.5% of women were smokers at the time of delivery between July and September this year, some way above the current national ambition of 6% or less, a target achieved by just 31 of 195 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
West London, Central London (Westminster) and Ealing had the lowest proportions of pregnant smokers at the time of delivery.
North East Lincolnshire, Blackpool and Mansfield and Ashfield had the highest proportions. Five CCGs were over the 20% mark.
In London 21 out of 32 CCGs achieved the national ambition compared with just one of 62 CCGs in the north of England.
The national proportion of women known to be smokers at the time of delivery was up on the 10.4% recorded in the previous quarter.