Kingston mothers are among the least likely in England to be smoking by they time they are ready to give birth, according to a new study.

But 87 of the 2,325 women in the borough of Kingston (3.7 per cent) who gave birth in the 2013/14 financial year were still risking complications like stillbirth, low birth weight and miscarriage by smoking.

Neighbouring Richmond had 1.9 per cent, which is England’s lowest, but below the London average of 5.1 per cent.

The research was done by government body the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Graham Snelling, chairman of Kingston Healthwatch, said: “It’s good news that the figures are relatively low.

“We have got a little bit further to go, certainly with our neighbours Richmond performing so well, but we are going in the right direction.

“The public health team have done a good job in driving the message home to expecting mothers, but there’s always more you can do.”

The national average for 2013/14 was 12 per cent but in many parts of the north of England, including Blackpool, up to a quarter of pregnant women refused to stop smoking.