The Washington Times-Herald

Community

May 16, 2014

May is Women's Health Month

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a woman can do to protect her own health and the health of her baby. The Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition is recognizing Women’s Health Month in May by encouraging women to quit smoking.

“Women who smoke can greatly benefit from the free counseling and support services provided by the Indiana Tobacco Quitline,” said Sally Petty, coalition coordinator. “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, higher than the national rate of 9 percent. Most of Indiana’s 92 counties have a smoking during pregnancy rate higher than the Indiana average. In Daviess County, about 12 percent of women smoke during pregnancy.

“Quitting smoking can reduce the risks of respiratory illness, miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths,” said Kathy Sullender, Daviess County Health Department nurse.

“Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves – but parents who try to quit and talk to their kids about how addictive smoking is, why they want to quit, and how important it is to never start, can beat those odds.”

Hoosier women who call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) will also receive information on secondhand smoke effects on children, quit tips specific to pregnant women, and the important role of family support. For more information please contact Petty at spetty@hoosieruplands.org. You can also visit the Smoke-Free Washington page on Facebook.

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