BLOOMINGTON – Mother’s Day is an annual celebration of all the things mothers do for their children. And one of the most important things they can do is quit tobacco.
“Secondhand smoke is very harmful to babies and children,” said IU Health Community Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, Patricia Colon, MPH, CHES®. “Unfortunately, tobacco use among women remains a serious problem.”
The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission reported that “more than 9,500 babies were born to Hoosier mothers who smoked during pregnancy in 2019.”
Smoking when pregnant can also lead to lower birth weight, long-term health issues, and an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
After birth, children continue to be negatively affected by second-and third-hand smoke. These effects can include respiratory infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, getting sick more often, and ear infections.
“Second-hand smoke is when you breath in the tobacco fumes from someone else’s cigarette or smoke,” said Colon. “Third-hand smoke is the chemicals that linger on surfaces including hands, clothes, and furniture. Both types introduce the harmful chemicals to your children’s bodies that can affect them for the rest of their lives.”
Mothers can protect their child from secondhand smoke by:
- Keeping a smoke-free home and car
- Don’t let their child visit any places where smoking is allowed
- Educate their child about the dangers of cigarette smoking, including e-cigarettes
One of the best gifts a mother can give to herself and her family is a smoke-free life. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) offers free, evidence-based help to tobacco users to quit and stay quit. Visit QuitNowIndiana.com to find out more.
About Indiana University Health
Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Learn more at www.iuhealth.org.