A disturbing number of women are continuing to smoke during pregnancy in the Hunter.
The 2015 NSW Mothers and Babies Report shows 16 per cent of pregnant woman are lighting up - almost double the state average of 8.9 per cent.
Smoking rates remain higher among Aboriginal women (39 per cent) compared to non-Aboriginal women (13 per cent), however the gap is beginning to close.
Smoking during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and affect a baby's development.
The report also shows the the Hunter has a high number of stillbirths and deaths in the first week of life - 10.6 for every 1000 births, compared to the state average of 8.2.