Key points
• Two thirds of women who stop smoking while pregnant restart afterwards
• Cessation programmes for pregnant women are effective; where these are available, health professionals must refer women to them
• Eighty per cent of adult smokers started smoking as teenagers, but effective methods of prevention or cessation for young people remain unknown
• Smoking is most common among poorer people, explaining much of the disparity in healthy life expectancy between the richest and poorest groups in Britain
• Patients from some ethnic groups are more likely to smoke than others; tobacco may also be chewed, especially among Bangladeshi people