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Tobacco Cessation Program for Pregnant Women

Tobacco Cessation Program

Catholic Charities is teaming up with the American Lung Association to offer proven-effective tobacco cessation classes to help pregnant women who smoke, quit for good. 

The agency is offering the 6-week class in Great Bend on Wednesday mornings at 10 am from Oct 5 to Nov 9th; in Garden City on Thursday mornings at 10 am from Oct 13 to Nov 17th; and in Dodge City on Mondays at 10 am from October 5th to Nov 14th, excluding Halloween. For more information about these classes, or to sign up, call 620-227-1562.

“For both a healthy mom and a healthy child, it’s best to quit smoking before pregnancy. But even if already pregnant, quitting can still help protect from potentially serious health problems,” said Plesetta Clayton, Director of Tobacco Control and Lung Health at the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. “Quitting may be difficult but is especially urgent for expectant mothers.”

The Lung Association’s quit smoking program has helped over one million smokers quit and it includes content on building a quit plan, medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smoke free for good.

“The most effective way to protect Kansas babies and mothers from neonatal and maternal health risks is to ensure mothers quit smoking during their pregnancy and stay smoke free. But despite a pregnancy, we know that quitting smoking can be difficult,” said Amy Falcon who is the Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Coordinator at Catholic Charities. “We look forward to working with moms in Southwest Kansas and providing support to help them quit smoking and encourage them to continue a healthy, smoke free lifestyle once their babies are born.”

Smoking while pregnant poses risks to both mother and child, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including low birth weight, damage to the placenta, pre-term deliveries and heightened risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In fact, Kansas has one of the highest low birth weight rates in the nation at 30 percent.  And according to state data, more than 6,200 women in Kansas smoked cigarettes during their pregnancies, and about one in every eight births involved mothers who smoked for at least three months shortly before or during their pregnancies.

While smoking during pregnancy is dangerous, continuing to smoke after the baby is born is also dangerous for the child. According to the CDC, babies who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to die from SIDS, have weaker lungs than other babies and are more likely to have infections and breathing problems.

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