Large reduction in pregnant smokers across Worcestershire

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New Worcestershire figures show that the proportion of women smoking throughout their pregnancy has dropped to 9%.  This is the lowest ever level, with 2023 seeing the largest year-on-year reduction in the county for 7 years.  

This drop in smoking rates comes after the introduction of a pioneering Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Service in Worcestershire where the Public Health team work alongside local midwifery services.

Councillor Karen May, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Well-Being at Worcestershire County Council, said: “It’s great to see these smoking rates fall. The Public Health team at the County Council and NHS colleagues work incredibly hard to help people quit.

We need to keep working to reduce the smoking rates further.  Quitting smoking is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and for the ongoing of health of both mothers and children."

Additional public health midwives have been employed in the county, who manage the pregnancy stop smoking service and work to coordinate and plan a range of ways to increase health and wellbeing support during pregnancy, particularly to help reduce smoking rates.

A team of friendly, dedicated stop-smoking advisors are available to support not just pregnant women, but also anyone who lives with them too. They are offered personalised one-to-one support and free nicotine replacement therapy.  

One mum who recently benefitted from the service said:  
“The support I had was great! I had a check-up around every other week and was always in contact if I ever needed anything in between appointments.  

She was always on the other end of the phone, a friendly, supportive person [who] gave the best advice including to my partner who was also a smoker about how to keep me and baby safe, and for me to divert when I was craving.  

“Having the carbon monoxide test really kept me on the right track and I always wanted to beat my levels from the time before.  

“The certificates I was provided with was a lovely touch and a reminder of how far I have come, not only for myself but also for my little boy as well. 

“The range of items they provided to aid me in quitting was great and really helped me, and reduced how much I craved a cigarette. I have now been quit since April when I was 10 weeks pregnant and don’t feel like I want to go back to cigarettes. 

“I can now proudly say I am a non-smoker, as I did today at one of my hospital appointments.” 

Linda Haynes, a Public Health Specialist Midwife said: 
"I'm really proud of our team and the help we provide to people who want to quit smoking. Our approach focuses on each person's specific needs. We offer a 12-week plan to quit smoking, which is personalised through one-on-one discussions. It can be adjusted to fit each individual, giving people a real say in their journey with our stop smoking advisors.”

If you are pregnant and live in Worcestershire or receive midwifery care in the county, you can access stop smoking support by emailing: or calling Heidi Hulbert, 07568 601709 (Kidderminster & Malvern); Shelley Halford, 07568 601710 (Redditch & Bromsgrove); and Liz Hammond, 07568 601711 (Worcester & Wychavon). Or just ask for stop smoking support at your next medical appointment.

This support doesn’t end after your baby is born though. Mums, dads, carers, or anyone who lives with a child under three years old in Worcestershire and get free expert support to stop smoking with the Smoke Free Homes service.  

This friendly service helps with:  

  • free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) 
  • one-to-one support with a trained advisor to help you quit and stay on track 
  • joint family sessions, if preferred 
  • ongoing monitoring and support

Councillor Karen May added:  
“After a baby has been born, it’s a whole new world for a family. It’s a wonderful time but every new parent will tell you it‘s also very tiring, so it can be tempting to smoke again. That’s why we support mums, partners and anyone who lives in the household to stop smoking for good until a child is three years old.”  
To sign up to the Smoke Free Homes service and get an appointment, please email For more information, go to the Starting Well Partnership website.

To find out more information on stop smoking support, please go to the Stop Smoking pages of the County Council website