Smoking during pregnancy is the most modifiable risk factor for preterm birth. However, more than one in ten women report smoking during pregnancy in Hamilton County. And in some neighborhoods – such as North Fairmount – more than one in three pregnant women are smokers.

Quitting smoking is difficult and extremely hard to do alone – especially if you don’t have the support of those around you. With this in mind, we recently launched the Neighborhood Quit Challenge. Centered in North Fairmount and English Woods, we’re partnering with the community to create a neighborhood unified in its mission of being smokefree. We’re doing so in two ways:

One, we launched two 12-week smoking cessation support groups – both open to all residents. In our first week alone, we had more than 60 participants – each with a unique and deeply personal history of smoking, and more importantly, each with a strong desire to quit.

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Two, women in the community are spearheading a social marketing campaign, with the goals of connecting neighbors to a smoking cessation support group and recruiting nonsmokers as cheerleaders and advocates for those trying to quit.

Only three weeks into the challenge and we’re already hearing stories of cutting back – whether that be by one cigarette or an entire pack. As a group, we’ve set a collective goal of quitting smoking – completely – by early January.

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