Bexley ‘has one of the highest rates of smoking among expectant mums in London’

PUBLISHED: 12:35 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:39 12 January 2017

Researchers believe economic factors could play a role in expectant mums’ smoking rates

Bexley has one of the highest smoking rates among expectant mums in London, according to new figures.

Some 8.2 per cent of mums-to-be in the borough still smoke at the time of delivery - a figure that is only higher in Greenwich and Barking and Dagenham (both 8.6 per cent).

In contrast, just 1.5 per cent of expectant mothers in Westminster smoke at the time of delivery - the lowest rate in London.

The England-wide average is 10.6 per cent, with the highest rate (14.4 per cent) found in the north., which carried out the analysis, said economic factors could play a role in smoking among expectant mothers.

Westminster taxpayers have the highest income (£36,400 median), while residents of the Borough of Barking and Dagenham have the lowest median income (£21,000).

However, the data is not conclusive and other factors could also play a role.

Smoking while pregnant can lead to premature delivery and an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden infant death.

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