Striving For Smoke Free Pregnancies

Thanks to a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health, Healthier Moms and Babies will begin implementing the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program in Allen County starting in November. Baby & Me Tobacco Free is an evidence based, smoking cessation program created to reduce the burden of tobacco on the pregnant and postpartum population. According to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Natality Report for 2015, 5,270 babies were born in Allen County. Of those, 9.8% of women smoked during their pregnancy.

Pregnant woman breaking cigarette in half

Baby & Me Tobacco free will be offered to all Healthier Moms and Babies who smoke, as well as, others in the community who may not be eligible for our home visiting services. The program requires that pregnant women attend four prenatal counseling cessation sessions to receive education and support for quitting smoking and staying quit. Women who quit and stay quit will receive a monthly voucher for diapers throughout the first year of life. Along with providing support to women who are participating in the program, Healthier Moms and Babies staff will give carbon monoxide breath tests to ensure that the women are not smoking in order to receive the diaper vouchers.

Baby & Me Tobacco Free underwent a three-year research analysis from 2006 to 2009 by the NY State Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program. As a pilot program, the independent researched data was reported by Anne M. Gadomski, MD, MPH, Bassett Research Group and shared with the programs developer and national based agencies. Results were published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, “Effectiveness of a Combined Prenatal and Postpartum Smoking Cessation Program”, January 2011. The published results indicated a 60%+ quit rate of women enrolled in the program at 6-months postpartum. In 2005 the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) awarded the “Model Practice Award” to the program.

Currently, 18 U.S. States participate in the program; Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

BlogKatie Pruitt