The proportion of women in Northamptonshire who still hadn’t given up smoking when they gave birth is 16 per cent, according to latest figures.
Public Health England, part of the Department of Health, released the statistics and revealed that in total 1,300 pregnant women living in the county smoked during 2013/14. The national average for England was 12 per cent.
Tobacco smoking is the most important preventable cause of disease and premature death in the UKCouncillor Robin Brown
The number of people who were helped by the NHS to successfully quit was 3,603 during the same period, also significantly below the national average.
It comes as health bosses in Northamptonshire signed am NHS statement of intent to tackle the consequences of smoking in Northamptonshire.
About 1,000 Northamptonshire residents a year die from smoking and its estimated that it costs the county more than £38m a year, including NHS costs, costs to businesses through lost productivity and costs of passive smoking.
There are more than 5,000 hospital admissions a year because of smoking, costing around £13m.
Councillor Robin Brown, cabinet member for health at County Hall, said: “Tobacco smoking is the most important preventable cause of disease and premature death in the UK. It’s a major risk factor for many diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease and is also associated with many other cancers.
“That’s why we are backing this Statement of Support for Tobacco control – it represents a public commitment to take action and further reduce smoking prevalence, and protect local communities from the harm caused by smoking and tobacco.”