Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

$3 Million Available to Help Childbearing Women Quit Smoking

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

$3 Million Available to Help Childbearing Women Quit Smoking

Article excerpt

In an effort to reduce the rate of smoking in America's families, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will make available $3 million toward the development of innovative approaches to assist childbearing women to quit smoking and remain smoke-free.

Smoking is the most important preventable cause of low-birthweight babies in the United States. The hazards of smoking, however, affect all members of a household, and do not begin or end with pregnancy. Before pregnancy, for example, women who smoke and take oral contraceptives risk medical complications and impaired fertility. After pregnancy, infants and children who live in smoky environments are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory illnesses, middle-ear infections, decreased lung function, and a predisposition toward becoming smokers themselves.

"During pregnancy, women are often more motivated to quit smoking," said Steven A. Schroeder, M.D., president of RWJF. "Current approaches to smoking cessation, however, have proved only minimally effective. Two-thirds of women who quit smoking during pregnancy relapse within 6 months after delivery," he said. …

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