Program Offers Diapers to Pregnant Smokers who Quit

by Jenny Novac on February 2, 2015

Pregnant Woman

Brittney Lykes, 24, of Akron, carries twins and she is interested in quitting smoking in order to get diapers.for free.

Health department in Summit County, state of Ohio, launches a new program which will help pregnant women to quit their smoking habit for good. The participants in the program attend support group meetings and after third or fourth meetings they agree to get rid of smoking.

Those smoking pregnant women who attend at least four support group meetings, should pass each month carbon monoxide tests in order to prove they are smoke-free. Women who met the conditions, receive a $25 voucher for buying diapers from Walmart each month for a year.

For Brittney Lykes, expecting two babies, getting two $25 vouchers per month is a great aim to achieve.

Recently  Summit County Public Health  launched local Baby and Me-Tobacco Free program aimed to lower premature births and infant mortality in the region. The initiative was proposed by Elizabeth Burke, a health educator and certified tobacco treatment specialist. Data shows that 13% of Summit County newborns are pre-term, or born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Researchers claim that using tobacco during pregnancy leads to premature birth and increases risks for lower birth weight, need of neonatal intensive care, sudden infant death syndrome and a number of other problems with health.

The authors of the new smoking cessation program talk about the necessity to reduce the premature birth rate in Summit County. All smokers should get help in quitting, but especially pregnant women. Data by Summit County Child and Family Health Services Coalition reveals that in Summit County around 18% pregnant women use tobacco.

Pregnant Lykes with the help of the program already managed to cut the amount of cigarettes used on the daily basis from ten to just two cigarettes, and is happy with this progress. She says that further support will help her quit completely and says the program worls effectively.

The program is funded through a state grant for the health department’s Child and Family Health Services.

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