Local Efforts Launched to Address Tobacco Use Among Pregnant and Parenting Women

Oswego, NY – Even though this is the 38th year of the Great American Smokeout, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death killing more than 25,000 New Yorkers every year.

Locally, a group of health and human service providers are launching a new cessation program for pregnant and parenting women as part of the Great American Smokeout.

Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc., was recently awarded an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award.

The funds are being used towards efforts to align tobacco cessation services and other resources for pregnant and parenting women by working collaboratively within Oswego County.

ICP’s Child Care & Development Council, Tobacco Free Network, and Traffic Safety programs, Oswego County OB/GYN; Oswego Hospital, and primary care clinic services: Oswego County Opportunities Inc., Head Start, Health, Teen Parent and WIC programs, SUNY Oswego Communications Department and the Oswego County Health Department have committed to regular alignment meetings and staff resources for the committee’s agreed initiatives.

It is widely known that the cognitive and physical development of infants and children is influenced by the health, nutrition, and behaviors of their mothers during pregnancy and early childhood.

Yet unfortunately, 28.3% of Oswego County women smoke during pregnancy which is the highest rate among all neighboring counties.

At 42.4%, tobacco use rates are particularly high among women with Medicaid as payer especially when compared to 7.9% for pregnant women with private insurance. Further, data collected at WIC sites showed that 11% of breastfeeding women and 35% of post-partum women smoke and 21% of pregnant women were exposed to secondhand smoke. (Source: Oswego County Community Health Assessment 2014-2017).

Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to reduce the risk of preventable disease.

The New York State Tobacco Control Program effectively reduces tobacco use, saves lives and saves money.  The Department of Health estimates that approximately 35 percent of the total decline in adult smoking is attributable to youth prevention strategies.

The significant reduction in smoking among young adults will reduce future health care costs by approximately $5 billion. (Source: New York State Department of Health, Youth Prevention and Adult Smoking in New York, March 2011 http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/docs/2011-03-11_ny_state_brief_report_prevention.pdf)

“Efforts to help smokers quit and keep even the youngest kids from starting to smoke will continue to have a major impact on the health of New York State now and in the future,” said Christina Wilson, ICP’s executive director. “We hope all smokers take advantage of the resources available today for the Great American Smokeout and give quitting a chance.”

For more information on these services for pregnant and parenting women, call 343-2344 or email at [email protected]