W.Va. Leads Nation in Pregnant Smokers

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    W.Va. Leads Nation in Pregnant Smokers


    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than a fourth of pregnant women in West Virginia smoked last year, putting themselves and their babies at risk.

    The state's 27.3 percent maternal smoking rate was the highest rate in the country and nearly triple the national average, according to a recent report from the state Department of Health and Human Resource's Health Statistics Center. The state's rate was up slightly over the previous year and has hovered around 25 percent the past 10 years.

    McDowell County had the highest rate of pregnant smokers, at more than 42 percent, the report said. The lowest rate, 15.8 percent, was in Monongalia County.

    All total, smoking mothers across the state gave birth to about 5,500 babies last year.

    "West Virginia has a virtual sustained epidemic of maternal smoking during pregnancy," said Dan Christy, who directs the Health Statistics Center. "It isn't healthy, and it's endangering the baby."

    Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low-birth weight and premature babies, and can lead to a host of illnesses, including heart disease, breathing difficulties and mental health problems.

    National researchers suggest pregnant smokers are typically poor, less educated and have less access to health care. The state's study found that a lack of education played a major role in West Virginia's numbers.

    Christy noted that some women at a recent focus group meeting said they smoked during pregnancy because they thought they would have easier deliveries if their babies were smaller.

    The state study found that more than half of women who didn't graduate from high school smoked while pregnant. It also found that more than 40 percent of West Virginia women covered by government-funded Medicaid health insurance smoked during pregnancy.

    Christy said it's obvious that existing programs to curb smoking among pregnant women are not working.

    National research released last month indicated the "quit for your baby" message is too simplistic an approach for many women. It also suggested that many pregnant women who smoke may also suffer from depression, which makes it even more difficult to kick the habit.

    A committee of state health advocates recently issued a list of recommendations that include increasing the state excise tax on tobacco products and expanding the state tobacco "Quitline," which offers free smoking-cessation services to all pregnant women.

    The committee also urged the state to increase funding for tobacco-prevention programs from $6 million a year to $14 million, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    ___
    Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com

    This is not a surprise!
     
  2. Jovial

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    LOL, are they serious? And if they were told their child would be smarter if they didn't smoke, they'd probably say they didn't want him/her to grow up to be a nerd.
     
  3. findfirefox

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    Wow what a supprise.
     
  4. whatireallywant

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    My mom smoked while she was pregnant with me.

    I was about 3 weeks early, not enough to be a real problem. I weighed 5 lbs. 3 oz. at birth - lower than average but still ok. I think my heart is ok but I do have a lot of respiratory problems (allergy like symptoms), and as far as mental health problems, I guess that's not for me to say but it was thought that I had ADHD as a child, plus I have had difficulty keeping a job except for one of my jobs...

    Both of my parents also have respiratory problems - much more severe than mine. I just have allergy-like symptoms at this point. Both of my parents have emphysema.
     
  5. Principessa

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    :biggrin1: Don't even get me started on all that's wrong in this story.

     
  6. joejack

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    Just preparing those feti for a life of breating coal dust down in the mines.
     
  7. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    They're just trying to prep their kids for a life of working in coal mines.
     
  8. dcwrestlefan

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    if you've ever been to west virginia, this would not be a surprise. parts of the state are pretty scary. others are beautiful. pendleton county is gorgeous. monongalia county, the lowest rated one for smoking preggers, is home to wvu. a more educated bunch up there.

    someone there in logan county once told me "you can judge the flow rate in the river after a flood by how fast the old washing machines are floating downstream". yikes.
     
  9. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Here's a question I have. How many of their kids were born with issues? That's what I want to know. It said that it's "endangering their babies" but it never actually said if any of their kids were born with problems.

    I'm going to defend pregnant smokers for a moment, if I may. Feel free to bash me, because I may very well not come back to read anymore of this thread anyway.

    I smoked while I was pregnant with my son. Not a pack a day, mind you... I cut back a LOT, but I could never bring myself to completely quit. I smoked between 1 and 5 cigarettes a day, depending on my stress level.

    My son was 6.0lbs when he was born. He quickly caught up in the weight department, and is perfectly healthy now. He has no respiratory issues, no learning disabilities, nothing. There is no proof anyway that his low birth weight was caused by smoking. Stress can cause low birth weight as well, and God knows I experienced that daily during my pregnancy. Being 18, a high school dropout, and pregnant with a guy who was in prison is not an easy thing to deal with.

    Many doctors will tell you that once you become pregnant, try not to change TOO much about your current lifestyle as it could cause stress to the fetus. For example - if you don't normally exercise, don't start. Smoking is also one of those things. When a close friend of mine became pregnant two years ago, her doctor told her that quitting smoking could actually cause more harm to the baby from the stress of it all than the actual smoking itself. She continued to smoke. (But again, she cut back.) Her baby was born perfectly healthy, and weighed almost 9lbs. I'm not saying that all women should smoke while they are pregnant. But if you are already a smoker at the time you have conceived your child, then continuing to smoke (lightly) may not necessarily be a bad thing.
     
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