Despite all warnings, at least 1,454 women still smoke during pregnancy, according to the National Institute of Public Health. Most smokers are found among young pregnant women.
Figures from the Medical Birth Register show that more women smoke at the start of pregnancy than at the end. In 2016 there were a total of 59,104 births in Norway, and 92% of mothers responded to questions about smoking habits.
2,556 women answered that they smoked at the beginning of pregnancy. Of those, 2,080 defined themselves as daily smokers, consuming 7.6 cigarettes on average.
At the end of pregnancy, there were still 1,454 women who reported that they smoked. Of those, 1,227 were daily smokers.
Those who smoked throughout pregnancy reported a daily consumption of 7 cigarettes.
Compared to 2009 figures from the National Institute of Public Health, the percentage of women who smoke during pregnancy fell sharply from 19% to 4.7%. In 1999, 25% of women smoked during pregnancy.
Young mothers, under the age of 19, and those between the ages of 20 and 24, smoke the most during pregnancy.
The overview from the National Institute of Public Health showed that one in ten pregnant women under the age of 19 smoked at the start of pregnancy, and at birth, 4.7% had still not managed to quit.
The Public Health Institute wrote that smoking during pregnancy limits the foetus’ access to oxygen. This leads to an increased risk of low birth weight, and for the child’s growth to be affected.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today