The Georgia Department of Public Health wants to get the word out about the dangers of smoking, especially for pregnant women, and provide help for those looking to quit smoking.
Health officials said that more than 670,000 women in Georgia use tobacco products and about 12 percent of those are pregnant women.
Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said a pregnant woman that smokes is endangering both herself and her unborn child.
“It is the number one leading cause of infant mortality and plus it contributes to all kinds of problems, colic, ear aches, upper respiratory infections, and even childhood obesity,” said Dr. Fitzgerald.
Also, Dr. Fitzgerald said that smoking is a large contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
She said pregnant women, or for that matter anyone who smokes, can quit smoking, even though it is very difficult.
However, she did not recommend e-cigarettes, stating that they are dangerous as well.
“I can tell you the data does not show e-cigarettes makes it easier to quit,” said Dr. Fitzgerald. “The second thing is those chemicals, formaldehyde, lead, carbon monoxide, are there (in e-cigarettes).”
Dr. Fitzgerald did say there are resources out there for people to get help in quitting smoking.
She said one of those resources is something called the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line.
“We are available 24 hours a day,” said Dr. Fitzgerald. “They will give you instructions on how to quit smoking.”
She said the line also provides other support for those trying to quit.
The number is 1-877-270-7867.