Goal 3: Smoking during pregnancy

This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women who smoked during pregnancy. The goal for this indicator is 37% by 2023.

Why is it important?

Many lifestyle factors contribute to, and can have adverse effects on, the health and wellbeing of a woman and her baby during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of complications such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption and gestational diabetes and is associated with low birthweight, foetal growth restriction, pre-term birth, congenital anomalies and perinatal death.

What data are available?

Data for this indicator were sourced from the National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC). Perinatal data are collected for each birth in each state and territory, most commonly by midwives.

What do the data show?

Progress towards the goal is on track, with the age-standardised rate in 2016 (42.8%) similar to the trajectory point required to meet the goal (43.4%).

Based on age-standardised rates, the proportion of Indigenous women smoking during pregnancy decreased between 2009 and 2012 (from 50% to 47%). This proportion was slightly higher in 2013 (48%), but lower again in 2014 and 2015 (both 45%) and lower again in 2016 (43%).

In 2016, 44% of Indigenous women reported smoking during pregnancy.

Based on age-standardised rates, in 2016:

  • the smoking rate among Indigenous women was highest in Very remote areas (53%) and lowest in Major cities (38%)
  • Indigenous women were substantially more likely than non-Indigenous women to report smoking during pregnancy—43% compared with 12%.