In the Kentucky River District region, 33 percent of expectant mothers smoke while pregnant. Health officials are working to help these mothers – many of them single mothers – gain resources and support to stop smoking.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control brought Amanda from the Tips from Former Smokers Campaign to the University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Ky., to put a spotlight on the high rates of smoking and pregnancy in the area and promote the release of new “Tips” ads. Amanda smoked while pregnant, and her daughter was born prematurely, weighing about three pounds.
“I still feel a lot of guilt from my choice to smoke during my pregnancy,” Amanda says, “and if other moms are able to quit when they’re pregnant, or before they get pregnant, they won’t have to feel guilt about their choices.”
To access resources and support, visit Kentucky’s Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW, www.quitnowkentucky.org).
The program examines effective medications and behavioral strategies available today to help tobacco users give up smoking for good and improve their health. Part of KET’s ongoing Smoking & Health initiative funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.