Shock statistics on smoker mums-to-be in Bracknell Forest

Published: 3 Jul 2014 17:300 comments

PREGNANT women in Bracknell Forest are being urged to ditch the fags after shock figures revealed almost one in 10 smoke in the run-up to giving birth.

Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show the area has the second worst record in the Thames Valley – with 137 of 1,340 expectant mums enjoying a cigarette while pregnant.

The 9.2% figure is only topped by Slough residents, where 10.4% of mums-to-be were smoking.

Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “In terms of smoking, nobody should be smoking because it kills you.

“If it’s going to kill a grown adult, what’s it going to do to an unborn child?

“If you’re going to start a human life, give it the best start you can.”

Cllr Birch said there were options for anybody to quit smoking by talking to their GP or they could ask the council for advice on how to quit. He added: “It’s not hearsay that smoking kills, it’s a ‘slam-dunk’ fact – it’s science.

“If you drink excessively or smoke at all then you’re going to damage yourself and your unborn child.

“Another problem is mothers who smoke during pregnancy will smoke in the home and that second-hand smoke will damage the child in its initial years.”

The figures – relating to the 12-month period between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014 – showed the lowest rate was in the Wokingham area where only 95 out of 1,612 pregnant women smoked, a proportion of just 5.9%.

In the Royal Borough, 135 expectant mums out of 1,638 were smokers – a proportion of 8.2%.

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