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1 out of every 6 Ingham County pregnant women smoke; Free help is available

LANSING, Mich. – More than 16 percent of women who gave birth in Ingham County during 2017 reported that they smoked cigarettes while pregnant. The health department encourages pregnant women to take advantage of the Michigan Tobacco Quitline’s free help in quitting smoking and tobacco use.

“Most women know that smoking while pregnant harms their babies and want to quit, but nicotine is very addictive,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “Many need extra support to quit.”

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and after birth. Babies born to women who smoked while pregnant have a higher risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and are more likely to show signs of distress and excitability.

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based service that provides free help with quitting smoking to all pregnant women, regardless of insurance status. The services available for pregnant women include: counseling sessions, incentives, and free nicotine replacement therapy with a prescription from a physician. Pregnant women can call the Quitline any time at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

While it is best to quit smoking before becoming pregnant, quitting smoking at any point during pregnancy is helpful in reducing health harms to the woman and fetus. 

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone coaching for the uninsured, pregnant women, residents enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, veterans, cancer patients, and Native Americans. The Quitline provides some services including materials, text messaging, an online program, and referral to all Michigan residents. 

The Quitline is available 24/7 in multiple languages. People who use tobacco and want to quit can contact the Quitline directly at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or enroll online at Providers in all health care settings are also encouraged to refer their patients and clients to the Quitline.