An expert from a specialist baby charity has encouraged mothers-to-be to avoid smoking, pointing out that the habit has been linked to a wide range of health problems in infants.
Tommy's midwife Amanda Kershaw noted that a number of smoking cessation services are on offer for those who are either planning to have a child or are already pregnant and urged women to seek advice.
"Research shows that smoking when pregnant can harm your growing baby and increase the likelihood of problems in pregnancy," she explained. "It's never too late to benefit from quitting smoking."
Ms Kershaw singled out cot death, miscarriage and stillbirth as complications which can be brought on by smoking during pregnancy and said those looking for tips on how to quit should approach a healthcare professional.
Her remarks came after data published by the NHS Information Centre revealed the percentage of mothers smoking fell from 33 per cent in 2005 to 26 per cent in 2010.