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RCOG statement on the Tobacco Control Plan

News 18 July 2017

The Government has released its Tobacco Control Planwhich outlines plans to reduce smoking in England, with the aim of creating a smoke-free generation by 2022. It aims to halve smoking in pregnancy from 10.7% to 6% or under, to improve outcomes for mothers and their children. 

Commenting on the plan, Professor Janice Rymer, Vice President of Education for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:

“We welcome the Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan and support its ambitious target to almost halve smoking rates in pregnancy by 2022, from 10.7% to 6% or under. We hope that this can be achieved by a coordinated approach with other royal colleges and health services.

“As obstetricians, we see first-hand the devastating impact smoking has in pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Quitting smoking is one of most important things a pregnant woman can do to ensure her baby develops healthily and to reduce unnecessary pregnancy complications.

“We know that the decline in the number of pregnant women smoking is slowing down, and that there is a huge variation in rates across England. It is essential that pregnant women are informed of the risks of smoking during pregnancy, and receive the advice and support they need to quit. There must be an equitable distribution of smoking cessation services so that all women have access. Pregnancy is the perfect opportunity to encourage women to stop smoking for good.”


Notes to Editors 

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)20 7045 6773 or email

About the RCOG
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.