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Stats show 1 in 3 young mums smoke in first 20 weeks of pregnancy

Date posted: 29 June 2016

According to recent data sourced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one third of mothers under twenty years are smoking in the first twenty weeks of their pregnancy cycle. The same data reported that one in eight women who gave birth in 2013 smoked at some time during their pregnancy.

Figures indicate that western Queensland (Qld) reported the highest incidence of mothers smoking during the first twenty weeks of pregnancy at twenty five per cent, compared to a median of fourteen per cent nationally.

Smoking while pregnant can cause a range of health complications for both the mother and child, including an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, SIDS and the likelihood a child will have problems with lung development and lung function. Cancer Council Qld Spokesperson, Katie Clift, said the figures were concerning.

'It's crucial that pregnant women in Queensland continue to receive relevant resources and support to quit smoking,' said Ms Clift. 'The report found women smoking during pregnancy dropped from 15 per cent in 2009 to 12 per cent in 2013, but more needs to be done to drive that figure down further,' she added. 'Mothers living in remote and very remote areas had higher rates of smoking during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.' 'We must continue smoke free strategies for the benefit of Queensland's next generation.'

Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco related disease each year. About 370 of these deaths are caused by second hand smoke exposure. 

On September 1 2016, new laws will come into effect banning smoking at public transport waiting points, pedestrian malls, aged care facilities, specified national parks and at or near children's organised sporting events and skate parks in Queensland. 

Source: The Observer

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Last updated: 29 June 2016
 
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