notobacco

Free “Stop Smoking” Resources Available For Pregnant Women

In State News on September 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

On the heels of a new Indiana report on smoking and other drug use  during pregnancy,  the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency (ITPC) sent an urgent message to all Hoosiers that free help is available for every pregnant women who needs to quit smoking  in order to deliver a healthy baby.

“For so many women, the difference in making the decision to quit smoking comes down to knowing someone is there to listen and provide an understanding for what they’re going through,” said Karla Sneegas, executive director, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC).

The free Indiana Tobacco Quitline – 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) – is available anytime from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year to assist any Hoosier 18 years or older with advice and counseling on quitting tobacco.   The Quitline is staffed by highly trained coaches who assist smokers with their plans to stop smoking.

For women who are pregnant, there is a specially-designed program that is aimed at addressing the needs of both the expectant mother, as well as the baby. Included as part of the program is a series of up to 10 phone calls that are completed with the mother both during – and after – the term of pregnancy is completed. Quit coaches are specifically empathetic to the mother’s needs and they help make sure they have the right support network as part of the treatment services.

A report,  released August 15th by the Prenatal Substance Abuse Commission (PSAC), indicated that an estimated 20 percent of women used tobacco while pregnant; ranking Indiana seventh highest in the nation among all 50 states. The PSAC report outlined the scope, consequences and economic impact of the problem, estimating that, in 2007 dollars, the average newborn cost of a delivering a pre-term baby is as much as $60,000.

Sneegas said that health care providers can enroll as a preferred health care provider for 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  Through this program, health care providers can refer their patients who are ready to quit smoking directly to the free Indiana Tobacco Quitline.

“Life is precious and whether we’re talking about the mother or her baby, this study is a strong indication of the challenges we have ahead of us. But, it is also shows the wealth of resources we do have in place – today – to make a real difference right here in Indiana,” added Sneegas.

For more information, call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  To register to become a preferred health care provider visit the Web site – www.indianatobaccoquitline.net.

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