Maternal smoking rates in the Wide Bay PHN region have dropped.
Maternal smoking rates in the Wide Bay PHN region have dropped.

Smoking rates fall for mums across public health region

NEW data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals maternal smoking rates are falling across the Wide Bay, Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network (PHN) region.

The data showed about 84 per cent of women across the PHN region are choosing not to smoke during pregnancy, compared to the national average of 89 per cent of women across Australia.

But the percentage of women who chose not to smoke during pregnancy had risen by almost 1% between 2012-14 and 2013-15.

Board Chair Dr Peter Dobson said there was no safe level of smoking, whether during pregnancy or at any other stage of life.

"By choosing not to smoke you have a significantly lower risk of developing a number of chronic diseases," Dr Dobson said.

He said Bundaberg had shown the largest change in the whole PHN region.

"We can see that in 80.2% of mothers didn't smoke during the 2013-15 period compared to only 77.5%
in 2012-14.

"This is the most significant change in our region, with an additional 2.7% of mothers choosing not to
smoke while pregnant.

"In Bundaberg we are supporting Impact, to deliver their Foundations for Life program which is providing
young mothers with access to prenatal support services, including advice and on smoking cessation.

"By choosing not to smoke you have a significantly lower risk of developing a number of chronic
diseases including diabetes or heart failure and if you're an expectant mother you can protect your child
from serious effects both before and after birth."