Tennessee Tobacco Quitline Assists Pregnant Smokers Quit Tobacco

Monday, May 18, 2009 | 09:10am

One In Five Women In State Admits To Smoking During Pregnancy

NASHVILLE – Getting the news of a positive pregnancy test can be both exciting and scary for some women. What might make it downright complex is if the mom-to-be is a smoker or uses other tobacco products. The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) provides pregnant women assistance in quitting tobacco use.

“Tobacco use is a powerful addiction that can be difficult to stop even during pregnancy,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “A call to the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and a conversation with a health care provider about the desire to quit are excellent first steps for pregnant women who are having difficulty quitting tobacco use.”

According to the Department of Health’s Division of Health Statistics, 19.4 percent of Tennessee women who gave birth in 2007 indicated that they had smoked at some point during their pregnancy. In Hancock County, the percentage was 47.7, the highest of the state’s 95 counties. The county with the lowest percentage was Williamson with 5.6. A breakdown of counties with the highest and lowest percentages, respectively, is as follows:

Counties with Highest Percentage of Smoking During Pregnancy
County Percentage
Hancock 47.7
Unicoi 43.9
Stewart 40.5
Houston 39.6
 Benton 39.5


Counties with Lowest Percentage of Smoking During Pregnancy

County Percentage
Williamson 5.6
Shelby 7.5
Davidson 11.8
Fayette 13.8
Rutherford 13.9


According to the U.S. Surgeon General in 2005, smoking during pregnancy can lead to a low birthweight baby and can reduce a baby's lung function. Even second-hand smoke can have a harmful effect on a baby's breathing and can have long-term respiratory consequences like impaired lung growth, chronic coughing and wheezing. In addition, disorders related to preterm birth and low birthweight are the second leading cause of infant death. Diseases of the respiratory system (aggravated by second-hand smoke) are one of the leading causes of infant hospitalization and infant doctor visits.

Tennessee residents can take advantage of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, a free service which offers personalized support to those who want to quit smoking and/or other tobacco products. Callers are connected with trained quit coaches to guide them through the quitting process, and will receive ongoing professional coaching via individually scheduled calls with a counselor personally assigned to them. QuitLine callers also have complimentary access to relapse prevention techniques, printed resource materials, information on nicotine replacement therapies and other services to help with the quitting process.

This convenient and confidential service is available to Tennessee residents in both English and Spanish at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). The service is also available for the deaf and hard-of-hearing at TTY: 1-877-559-3816. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time.

The Department of Health also offers smoking cessation services through all county health department locations. The Department initiated collaboration with the state’s 23 federally qualified health centers to provide services to their patients who are trying to quit tobacco use. Patients are evaluated to determine the best course of treatment for each individual. Treatment may include nicotine replacement therapy such as lozenges, gum or prescription medication. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on income. A list of county health department locations can be found online at http://health.state.tn.us/localdepartments.htm. More information about Tennessee’s FQHCs is available online at www.tnpca.org.

To learn more about the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, visit the Web site at http://health.state.tn.us/tobaccoquitline.htm.



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