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Smoking and Asthma: SNJPC Recognizes Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

With May being Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, SNJPC’s Mom’s Quit Connection staff says it is an excellent time to learn about the link between smoking and childhood diseases.

“Exposure to smoke - whether in utero or after birth - increases a child’s risk of allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues,” says Cathy Butler, Assistant Director of Tobacco Control Initiatives at SNJPC. “Many people are unaware that smoking can be just as harmful before birth as after delivery.”

Butler says children exposed to second hand smoke have more frequent and more severe asthma attacks resulting in more visits to ERs and doctors offices. When children return to a smoke-filled environment, their asthma medication will be less effective, meaning that children often require stronger medication.

Merle Weitz, SNJPC’s Director of Public Health Programs, says, “Many women will be motivated to quit during their pregnancy but might not continue post partum. That is why we follow up with our clients at 3, 6, and 12 months after delivery.”

Even if a smoker cannot quit entirely, there are steps they can take to reduce the potential harm. “We encourage women and their families to stop smoking in their homes and cars. It is a simple action that will immediately decrease harmful expose to children,” says Weitz. To help motivate smokers to protect kids from second hand smoke Mom’s Quit Connection produced the postcard shown below.

Mom’s Quit Connection offers pregnant women and moms customized quit plans, education, motivational support and practical tips for quitting smoking.

For more information on Mom’s Quit Connection, visit http://www.snjpc.org/programs/smoking
or call 1-888-545-5191.