Indiana is one of the states with the highest number of women who smoke while pregnant. Approximately 17.1% of women in Indiana smoked during a pregnancy in 2010, a slight decline from 20% in 2000.
Indiana University’s School of Public Health recently received over $900,000 in grants to help pregnant women stop smoking. Assistant Professor and lead researcher Jon Macy says that Indiana ranked high in rates of smoking among adults in the U.S., and this applies to pregnant women as well.
“We’ve made some progress in Indiana in recent years in bringing down adult smoking rates but it still remains unacceptably high and obviously, smoking among pregnant women is an important special kind of health problem that really needs some special attention,” Macy said.
Eden Bezy and Bob Bowman of the Indiana state Department of Health says that although there are currently different tools smoking hoosiers can use to help fight smoking, there are also specific ones for pregnant women.
“Specifically for pregnant women, we have what they call 10-call protocol and women are invited by their providers, organizations and their work places to call in or fax in referrals and they are given the ability to connect with a quick coach either through telephone call, web based or text based services,” Bezy said.
There are numerous effects smoking can have on the pregnant smokers and their unborn babies and Sudden Infant Death is one of them, which could be one of the factors that has led to Indiana’s high rates of infant mortality. This is something the State Department of Health is focusing on because smoking during pregnancy also contributes to this factor.
The grant will help fund a study at prenatal clinics that will follow women throughout their pregnancy and for up to six months after delivery to assess the effect of the intervention on smoking and health outcomes.