Southern Pines – Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, a FirstHealth Clinic, will offer FirstQuit, a tobacco-cessation program, for pregnant women and their significant others who smoke, on Monday, March 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
FirstQuit, a service offered through FirstHealth Community Health Services, includes one-on-one counseling, support groups, group (class) sessions, nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum and lozenges) and prescription medication to help individuals through the quitting process.
“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health,” says Cindy Laton, FirstHealth Community Health Services health educator and certified tobacco treatment specialist. “Being willing to change your lifestyle and having support are some key elements in the quitting process.”
According to the March of Dimes, women who smoke or are exposed to smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk of poor birth outcomes including premature birth, breathing difficulties for the baby and asthma. Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States, and it has been proven that quitting smoking can reduce a woman’s risk of preterm birth.
In 2012, 20.4 percent of women who gave birth in North Carolina used tobacco.
“Preventative health care for women is a primary goal for us at Southern Pines Women's Health Center,” says Pamela Kantorowski, M.D. “We encourage our patients to take ownership of their own health by changing the things over which they have control. Assisting them with tobacco cessation is one such way to do that. It not only improves their health but also that of their children and families as well.”
The FirstQuit class is open to the community. To register, call Barbara at Southern Pines Women’s Health Center at (910) 692-7928, ext. 2041. The fee for the program is based on individual income and will be determined when you call to register. For more information on the FirstQuit program, visit www.firsthealth.org/firstquit.