Letter to the Editor

Tobacco Cessation Program wants to help pregnant smokers

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Editor:

I'd like to congratulate you on the recent information published regarding the Putnam County Tobacco Cessation Program. I'd like to add that Putnam County has one of the highest rates of pregnant women that smoke in the Statel According to a survey conducted in 2007, 33 percent of women who are pregnant in Putnam County use tobacco.

Among the health risks linked to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy are respiratory disorders, stillbirths, low birth weight and behavioral and learning problems such as mental disability and attention deficit disorder. Further, new studies have shown that children exposed to smoking prenatally are four times more likely to become regular tobacco users.

Pregnant smokers should know that it's never too late to quit. With the resources we have available through the Putnam County Tobacco Cessation Program, and the approaching celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, women who smoke and are pregnant should know there is always help available to them.

Eileen Johnson

Tobacco Cessation Coalition member