Notes on the data: Mothers and babies

Women who reported smoking during a pregnancy, 2012 to 2014


Policy context:  Maternal smoking during pregnancy is a major risk factor that can adversely affect infant health, increasing the likelihood of low birth weight, pre-term birth, fetal and neonatal death, and SIDS.[1] In 2012–14 in Australia, one in eight women (12.3%) smoked during pregnancy, with rates nearly four times as high among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (47.3%) and those living in remote areas (32.1%, compared with 8.3% for those living in Major Cities) and nearly five times as high as those living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas (15.6% in the most disadvantaged areas, compared with 3.3% in the least disadvantaged areas).


  1. Laws PJ, Grayson N, Sullivan EA. Smoking and pregnancy. (AIHW Cat. no. PER 33). Sydney: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 2006

Notes:  The data previously published were for non-Indigenous women who smoked during their pregnancy. The data shown here now include all women who smoked during their pregnancy.

As these data were collected from each State and Territory health agency, they may exclude people who live in one State/Territory and used a service in another. Hence, the Australian total excludes a small number of pregnancies that were recorded in a different State/ Territory as their usual residence. All ACT published figures are of non-Indigenous people. As such the Australian total will only include non-Indigenous people for ACT.

Please note that the data may include women who were pregnant more than once during the time period.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas


Numerator:  Women who reported that they smoked during a pregnancy (data over 3 years)


Denominator:  Number of pregnancies (data over 3 years)


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on data from: the NSW Department of Health; Victorian Perinatal Data Collection; Perinatal Data Collection, Department of Health, Queensland; SA Health; WA Department of Health; the Tasmanian Perinatal Database; NT Department of Health and Families and Health Directorate, ACT Government.


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