Goal 3: Smoking during pregnancy

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

Why is it important?

Smoking during pregnancy is the most common preventable risk factor for pregnancy complications and is associated with poorer perinatal outcomes. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy can reduce the risk of adverse outcomes for themselves and their babies. Support to stop smoking is widely available through antenatal clinics (AIHW 2020).

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 not on track. The age-standardised rate in 2018 was 44%, which was above the trajectory point of 42% required to meet the goal.

Based on age-standardised rates, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women smoking during pregnancy:

  • Decreased from 50% to 43% between 2009 and 2016 and increased slightly to 44% in 2017 and 2018.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, the proportion decreased at a similar rate to the trajectory required to meet the goal by 2023. However, in 2017 and 2018 the rates began to deviate from the trajectory points and were above the trajectory points required to meet the goal.

In 2018, based on age-standardised rates:

  • The smoking rate among Indigenous women was highest in Very remote areas (60%) and lowest in Major cities (38%).
  • 44% of Indigenous women reported smoking during pregnancy, compared with 11% of non-Indigenous women.
  • The rate of smoking during pregnancy varied by state/territory, from 58% in the Northern Territory to 42% in Victoria.

Figure 3.1: Age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers who smoked during pregnancy

This figure shows the baseline data from 2009 to 2012, trajectory to the goal from 2013 to 2023. New data from 2013 to 2018 for the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women who smoked during pregnancy are also plotted. New data show that in 2018, 44.2% of Indigenous women smoked during pregnancy. While the new data have decreased between 2013 and 2018, the latest data is not on track to meet the goal. 

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Figure 3.2: Proportion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, by Indigenous status, 2018

The figure shows the age-standardised proportion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, by Indigenous status and remoteness. The proportion of Indigenous mothers smoking was higher than non-Indigenous mothers across all remoteness categories. The age-standardised proportion of Indigenous mothers who smoked rose from 38.1% in Major cities to 59.8% in Very remote areas.

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Goal 3.3: Proportion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, by Indigenous status, 2009 to 2018

The figure shows the age-standardised proportion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy over time, by Indigenous status. The proportion of Indigenous mothers who smoked was consistently higher than among non-Indigenous mothers, but rates fell over time for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers.

Visualisation not available for printing

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2020. Australia's mothers and babies data visualisations. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 26 October 2020.