Dr. Mahabee-Gittens

Dr. Mahabee-Gittens. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center recently opened their new smoking cessation clinic, led by Dr. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens, an emergency department physician. Individual counseling sessions and comprehensive quit plans will be available to assist anyone ready to take the next step in living a smoke-free life.

Our annual report shows that smoking at any point during pregnancy leads to a 44% increased chance of having an infant death.  Quitting is hard, but essential in providing infants a healthier start in life. Yet, there is a scarcity of resources available for those looking for support on their quest to quit.

The insufficient number of in-person counseling services serving the Hamilton County area is troubling, considering a majority of best-practice guidelines involve social support for the patient. Physicians in the community saw the need for these services and acted upon it.

At present, the smoking cessation clinic runs every Tuesday and the patient, whether it’s an adult, teen or child, is scheduled for a 30 minute counseling session. Dr. Mahabee-Gittens envisions plenty of opportunity for future growth of the clinic. She has been involved in smoking cessation efforts since 2000 and after extensive research, has uncovered an alarming statistic that 50% of the parents who visit Children’s emergency room are active smokers.

A child’s health is strongly impacted by second and third hand smoke exposure, she says, “second and third hand smoke is likely why the emergency department has so many visits for respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, coughs, colds, and ear infections.”  According to the CDC, second hand smoke is also a suggested cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).[1]

While encouraging parents to quit Dr. Mahabee-Gittens voices, “Being a parent is the most awesome, amazing, and humbling job that you will ever have. I know that you care about and love your child more than words can speak. Take steps to quit smoking as soon as possible so that you can show your child that you would do anything to protect them and their health.”  

We’re excited to have another partner in the community dedicated to helping families lead healthier and stronger lives.

Hours of operation for Cincinnati Children’s Smoking Cessation Clinic are Tuesdays: 8:00 am-4:30pm. For more information, call 513-803-7552 or visit their website.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, March 5). Health effects of secondhand smoke. Retrieved  from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/index.htm#sids