Your point about smoking and pregnancy is spot on. The facts are:
Smoking in pregnancy accounts for an estimated 20 to 30 percent of low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and some 10 percent of all infant deaths. Even apparently healthy, full-term babies of smokers have been found to be born with narrowed airways and reduced lung function.
Neonatal health-care costs attributable to maternal smoking in the U.S. have been estimated at $366 million per year, or $704 per maternal smoker. Nicotine is an addictive drug, which when inhaled in cigarette smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously. Smokers not only become physically addicted to nicotine; they also link smoking with many social activities, making smoking a difficult habit to break.
Quitting smoking often requires multiple attempts. Using counseling or medication alone increases the chance of a quit attempt being successful; the combination of both is even more effective.
Your state has a toll-free telephone quitline. Call 1—800—QUIT—NOW (1—800—784—8669) to get one-on-one help with quitting, support and coping strategies, and referrals to resources and local cessation programs. The toll-free number routes callers to state-run quitlines, which provide free cessation assistance and resource information to all tobacco users in the United States. This initiative was created by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Healthcare providers and tobacco users in New York's Lower Hudson Valley region, specifically, should contact POW'R Tobacco Cessation Center ( www.powrcessationcenter.org ), a grant program of the American Lung Association of the Northeast and funded by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program (NYTCP). POW'R provides on-site evidence-based tobacco cessation training to healthcare providers using clinical guidelines to assist them in helping patients to quit smoking. We also provide outreach services, materials and resources for tobacco users.
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