Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group

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View Challenge Group resources for health professionals working to reduce smoking in pregnancy

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Join the Smokefree Pregnancy Information Network to receive timely information, practical resources, training materials and examples of good practice

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Get in touch with us if you have any queries

PRESS RELEASE During the pandemic smoking in pregnancy fell below 10% for the first time since records began BUT Government still not on track to reach target of 6% or less by 2022

Who we are

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group is a coalition of organisations committed to reducing rates of smoking in pregnancy. The Group was established in 2012 to produce recommendations on how the smoking in pregnancy ambition contained in the Government’s tobacco strategy can be realised.

The Group is a partnership between the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists  and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the voluntary sector and academia. It presented its first report and recommendations in June 2013 and continues to meet annually to review progress.

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group is jointly chaired by Dr. Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands, and Professor Linda Bauld of the SPECTRUM Research Consortium and the University of Edinburgh.

The case for action

When a woman smokes during pregnancy or when she is exposed to secondhand smoke, oxygen to the baby is restricted making the babies heart work faster and exposing the baby to harmful toxins. As a result, exposure to smoke in pregnancy is responsible for an increased rate of stillbirths, miscarriages and birth defects. The table below highlights the impact of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in pregnancy:

Latest report - Getting back on track: Delivering a smokefree start for every child

This report from ASH and the Challenge Group sets out the action needed to turn the Government’s ambitions on smoking in pregnancy and a smokefree society into a reality. The full report can be downloaded here (pdf).

The report was launched on the 10th February 2021, at a joint meeting of the APPG on Smoking and Health and the APPG on Baby Loss. The event was attended by the Public Health Minister Jo Churchill, who reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to tackling smoking in pregnancy. You can view a recording of the event here.