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 ceasing to smoke during pregnancy can reduce the risk of adverse outcomes for mothers and their babies. Support to stop smoking is widely available through antenatal clinics (AIHW 2021).

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 of Indigenous Australian women smoking during pregnancy in 2019 was 44%, which was above the trajectory point of 41% required to meet the goal.

Based on age-standardised rates, the proportion of Indigenous Australian women smoking during pregnancy:

  • Decreased from 50% to 43% between 2009 and 2016 and increased slightly to 44% in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, the proportion decreased at a similar rate to the trajectory required to meet the goal by 2023. However, in 2017, 2018 and 2019 the rates began to deviate from the trajectory points and were above the trajectory points required to meet the goal.

Additional disaggregations for this goal are available in Data tables

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 2019 for the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women who smoked during pregnancy are also plotted. New data show that in 2019, 43.7% of Indigenous women smoked during pregnancy. While the new data have decreased between 2013 and 2019, the latest data is not on track to meet the goal. 


AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2021. Australia's mothers and babies. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 14 September 2021.