Expecting Mothers Reap Benefits Of Kicking The Habit
Published: March 11th, 2015
By: Matthew White

NORWICH – In 2014 the Chenango County Department of Health implemented the Baby & Me Tobacco-Free program, a nationwide initiative designed to help expecting mothers and the next generation of children become healthier through tobacco cessation and quitting the habit.

Currently, New York is one of only 11 states that participates in the Baby & Me program, a program that has enabled thousands of pregnant women quit smoking for good.

The prenatal cessation program is an evidenced-based program designed to help women quit smoking during and after pregnancy. Participants are given the positive support they need to become smoke free for themselves and for the health of their unborn baby. If successful, the participants receive vouchers for free diapers each month for 6 months as long as they continue to be smoke free.

With the help of our Community Partners such as UHS-Chenango Memorial Hospital, WIC, Head Start, and Family Planning, The Chenango County Department of Health has been successful in enrolling 16 women into the program locally, three of which have graduated smoke-free after delivery and have begun to receive free diaper vouchers. If the mom stays smoke-free they will receive these vouchers for six months. Program visits are conducted out of the Health Department office located in the County Office Building along with various outreach sites when needed.

In January, program administrators recognized the important role expecting mother's support system plays in dropping the habit by extending the benefits of program to support partners – which can be anyone who lives with the pregnant mom.

“By adding the supporting partner to the program we are hopeful the entire family will benefit from a smoke free living environment,” said a spokesperson from the County Health Department.

According to the program outline, both mom and the supporting partner will receive a voucher for free diapers each month for six months if both parties continue to be smoke free.

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