Research has revealed Hillingdon has one of the highest rates of women who smoke while pregnant.

Figures show 7.1% of mums-to-be in the borough still spark up despite the well known health risks it causes them and their unborn child - placing it sixth in London overall.

At the other end of the scale, expectant mums in Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster mums are the least likely to smoke in the capital.

Hillingdon was the only west London borough to come in over the London average of 4.9%.

However, its figures are way below the national average of 10.6% and below the national target of 11%.

The results were put together by, which reveal an average of 4.9% of pregnant London women were recorded as smokers at time of delivery.

Claiming the unwanted top spot for London is Barking & Dagenham and Greenwich, which both had figures of 8.6 %.

With Hillingdon coming in at six, the next west London boroughs on the list are Brent and Harrow with 3.9%.

Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond (all 2.5%) and Westminster (1.5%) come bottom of the poll.

Analysis of the London figures by also found just more than 5% of pregnant women are smokers at their first midwife appointment, with this only dropping by 0.2% to 4.9% at the time of birth.

Smoking Prevalence Among London Mums-To-Be at Time of Delivery

Borough %

Barking & Dagenham


Greenwich 8.6
Bexley 8.2
Havering 7.7
Croydon 7.6
Hillingdon 7.1
Enfield 6.8
Sutton 6.3
Haringey 5.6
Waltham Forest 5.5
Islington 5.4
Bromley 5.3
City & Hackney 5.2
Newham 5.2
Merton 4.8
Lewisham 4.5
Brent 3.9
Tower Hamlets 3.9
Harrow 3.9
Camden 3.8
Ealing 3.6
Wandsworth 3.6
Kingston 3.5
Lambeth 3.4
Barnet 3.4
Redbridge 3
Southwark 2.9
Hammersmith and Fulham 2.5
Richmond 2.5
Kensington and Chelsea 2.5
Westminster 1.5

Data Source: Statistics on Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England (April 2015 to March 2016), HSCIC

This shows only a fraction of expectant mums quit smoking after discovering their pregnancy despite the health warnings.

Amanda Sandford from the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said: “Smoking during pregnancy reduces foetal growth and increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and cot deaths."

The percentage of pregnant smokers in London is far less than the national average

"Although there has been significant progress in reducing the rates of smoking during pregnancy it’s vital that work continues to ensure that pregnant women who smoke are offered support to quit,” she said.

Percentage of smoking mums-to-be at first midwife appointment and time of delivery

Commissioning region % of smoking mums-to-be at first midwife appointment % of smoking mums-to-be at time of delivery
All 12.3 10.6
North of England 16.8 14.4
Midlands and East of England 12.3 11.2
London 5.1 4.9
South of England 11.8 10.2

Data source: Statistics on Women’s Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England (April 2015 to March 2016), HSCIC; Maternity Services Reports (April 2015 to March 2016), NHS Digital

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