tim_cropAddiction is a powerful driver and nicotine addiction is one of the most insidious.  How else do we explain why only 18-25 percent of pregnant women care enough about their child to stop smoking?

While Hamilton County struggles with an unacceptably high rate of infant mortality, it’s high time we look outside the proverbial box for the keys to reaching pregnant girls and women with lifesaving health messaging for them and their unborn children.

Most of us are familiar with the litany of effects of smoking on the unborn: low birth weights; premature births; problematic deliveries; stillbirth.  Low birth weight alone results in more than 300,000 U.S. infant deaths annually.

Let’s turn the message around and consider the positive effects of smoking cessation during pregnancy and beyond:

  • Your baby will get more oxygen, beginning with Day One of not smoking.
  • Risk of premature birth declines.
  • Your chance of bringing your baby home from the hospital with you goes up.
  • You’ll be less likely to develop smoking-related disease – which gives you a greater chance of living to know your grandchildren.
  • You’ll have more energy and breathe easier.
  • Your hair, clothes and home will smell better.
  • Food tastes better.
  • You’ll have more money you can spend on other things – like things for your baby!
  • And perhaps most important, you can feel great about the decisions you’ve made for yourself and your baby.

Quitting is not easy, but there are myriad programs to help.  Let’s leverage the even more powerful addiction of healthful children over that of nicotine’s grip!