LETTER: Smoke Free Perry County Coalition asks pregnant smokers to quit on Mother’s Day

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Quitting smoking is one of the best things a pregnant woman can do to protect her own health and the health of her baby. On this Mother’s Day, members of the Smoke Free Perry County Coalition encourage smokers to call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at (800) QUIT-NOW. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline has expanded its services to better reach pregnant women, increasing the number of calls to pregnant women from trained quit coaches from four to 10.

Women who smoke can greatly benefit from the free counseling and support services provided by the Indiana Tobacco Quitline.

The Quitline’s pregnancy program addresses the caller not only as an expectant mother, but also as a woman, as it is important for her to realize that sustaining the quit beyond delivery is as important as quitting during the nine months of pregnancy.”

Indiana’s smoking rate for pregnant women is 17 percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the national rate of 11 percent. Sixty-eight of Indiana’s 92 counties have a smoking during pregnancy rate higher than the Indiana average. Perry County has an alarming 32 percent of pregnant women smoking during pregnancy.

Health experts report, quitting smoking can reduce the risks of respiratory illness, miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths. Continuing to report that children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves—but parents who try to quit and talk to their children about how addictive smoking is, why they want to quit, and how important it is to never start, can beat their odds.”

Hoosier women who call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) will also receive information on secondhand smoke effects on children, aides specific to pregnant women, and the important role of family support. For more information please contact me at Lincoln Hills Development Corporation at 547-3435 ext. 236 or by e-mail at sharilyn@lhdc.org

Smoke Free Perry County Coordinator