Smoking in pregnancy is recognised to have major health costs, both for the mother and her child. A higher proportion of women manage to quit by early pregnancy than at other times of their lives; however, around 19% of women in England smoke throughout their pregnancy. While there is some data available on costs to the NHS of adult smokers, there are currently no models which provide these estimates for smoking in pregnancy. The costs and wider economic implications of smoking in pregnancy are gaps identified as a priority need by DH policy teams and one this project is designed to fill.
The project builds an estimate of the additional costs that accrue to society of a mother continuing to smoke during pregnancy compared to the alternatives of a mother giving up smoking during their pregnancy. The main output is a model that can be updated either to give estimates of the costs of smoking in pregnancy depending on the estimated population prevalence rates or to simulate the impact of interventions which may reduce smoking in pregnancy.