Local health care providers, social service professionals, and other health advocates are invited to attend a free workshop, Champions for Smoke-free Pregnancies in Kosciusko County, on Thursday, April 18, at the Honeywell Center, Nixon Room. Registration is from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the program starting at 2:30 p.m., ending at 4 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Cass, Miami, Kosciusko, and Wabash County Tobacco Prevention Coalitions in partnership with Promoting Smokefree Pregnancies in Indiana.
The PSPI coalition, a statewide partner of the Indiana State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission, is comprised of agencies and individuals across Indiana dedicated to reducing the prevalence of smoking among women of childbearing age, particularly during pregnancy.
In Indiana, approximately 17 percent of pregnant women smoke, nearly twice the national average. In Kosciusko County, 20.9 percent of expectant mothers smoke.
Smoking during pregnancy is associated with a number of negative physical and mental outcomes including premature birth, low birth weight, asthma, and problems with learning and reading, among many others.
The April 18 event will introduce participants to effective tools and techniques for providing tobacco cessation support to their patients and clients, with special emphasis on pregnant women. Participants will hear from Dr. Michael Mull from the Peru American Health Network and Linda Mackey from Area 5, Women, Infants and Children.
“Tobacco cessation during pregnancy can be a sensitive, challenging task. We hope that hearing these champions’ success stories will inspire others who serve women and families to consider implementing some of the same simple practices,” said Dan Gray, director of the Kosciusko County Tobacco Free Coalition.
Registration for the event is free but required by April 17. Register on the web form: www.formstack.com/forms/smokefree-wabashcounty or for phone registrations or questions call Dan Gray at 260-274-2920.