Goodbye Cigarettes, Hello Diapers

Nearly 20 percent of the babies born at Lutheran each year are born to mothers who have used tobacco. Without an innovative new program funded through the Lutheran Medical Center Foundation, nearly all would have gone home to households where tobacco use had a daily impact on their developing lungs, hearts and brains.

Fortunately, mothers who deliver at Lutheran have access to a promising new intervention: Healthy You, Healthy Baby. The program helps women who have used tobacco within the past 12 months to quit or stay quit with counseling, resource referrals, nicotine replacement therapy and follow-up. Women are most motivated to quit during pregnancy, but about 50 percent resume tobacco use by six months postpartum.

“Healthy You, Healthy Baby has positively touched hundreds of women’s lives,” says Lutheran’s Tobacco Cessation Program Manager Khanh Nguyen, MSW, MPH. “By using a motivational intervention rather than a traditional educational approach, the program helps women develop the tools to quit that fit their unique situations.”

Since it launched, the program has screened more than 3,800 delivering patients for tobacco use. Most telling are the successes. In an assessment conducted before the program was implemented, 48 percent of new mothers who had used tobacco before giving birth were using tobacco again by six months postpartum. However, only 29 percent of new mothers who had used tobacco and who received Healthy You, Healthy Baby counseling were using again six months postpartum.

Percentage of mothers using tobacco post pregnancy. No cessation program

Percentage of mothers using tobacco post pregnancy after going through Lutheran's cessation program


DIMENSIONS Tobacco-Free Program

Lutheran’s free, six-week drop-in group provides support for tobacco reduction and cessation. It meets Tuesdays, noon–1 p.m. and 5:30–6:30 p.m. Register at lutheranjournal.org/classes or call 303-403-6176.