RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — Richland Public Health is now trained and certified to offer a program called “Baby & Me – Tobacco Free” to help pregnant women quit smoking and stay quit.
“We know the harm tobacco use causes to the mother and the unborn child,” said Martin Tremmel, Health Commissioner at Richland Public Health. “This program is research-based* and proven to help our pregnant women quit smoking and remain tobacco free.”
"Baby & Me – Tobacco Free" Program Executive Director Laurie Adams provided the technical support and training to Richland Public Health and certified Licensed Social Worker Stacey Nolen to enroll women in the program. “Richland Public Health is a perfect fit for the program,” Adams stated. “This program serves prenatal women and supports clients’ quit attempts.”
In order to be eligible for the program, pregnant women who are current smokers need to call Stacey Nolen at Richland Public Health, 419-774-4731.
“I would like to let every pregnant woman know that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for the health of you and your baby,” Nolen said.
The program is available to any pregnant woman who is already a tobacco user in Richland and the surrounding counties. You do not have to be an established client with Richland Public Health.
Richland County has an infant mortality rate of 10.16 per 1,000 live births. That figure is much higher than the 7.9 state infant mortality rate and the 6.0 national goal for infant mortality (Healthy People 2020). Infant mortality among black babies in Richland County is 12.5 per 1,000 live births. Smoking during pregnancy is known to cause birth defects, premature births, underweight babies and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Quitting smoking greatly reduces the health risks to mothers and babies.
Women who enroll in the program are helped to quit smoking. When they remain tobacco free after their baby is born, they may be eligible to receive a monthly voucher for a free purchase of diapers for up to 12 months.
"The Baby & Me – Tobacco Free" program is made available to Richland Public Health through a Child and Family Health Services grant. A flyer with more details about the program is available on the Richland Public Health website, www.richlandhealth.org. Additional details are available at www.babyandmetobaccofree.org