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Help Available for Pregnant Women to Quit Smoking

Make a plan to quit with the Tobacco Quitline

Washtenaw County Public Health encourages pregnant women to take advantage of the Michigan Tobacco Quitline’s free help in quitting smoking and tobacco use.

In 2015, one out of 10 pregnant women in Washtenaw County smoked during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy heightens the risk of complications during pregnancy and after birth. Babies born to women who smoked while pregnant have a higher risk of low birth weight, preterm birth and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and are more likely to show signs of distress and excitability.

“Because nicotine is very addictive, people who smoke, including pregnant women who smoke, are best able to quit when they get help and support,” says Jane Nickert, MSN, MSBA, director of nursing for Washtenaw County Public Health. “We want women and health care providers to know that there is free help available to make quitting easier.”

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based service that provides free help with quitting smoking to all pregnantPregnant Quitline 2 women, regardless of insurance status. The services available for pregnant women include: counseling sessions, incentives, and free nicotine replacement therapy with a prescription from a physician. Pregnant women can call the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

While it is best to quit smoking before becoming pregnant, quitting smoking at any point during pregnancy is helpful in reducing health harms to the woman and fetus. Pregnant women are eligible for five counseling sessions during pregnancy and four counseling sessions during the postpartum period through the Quitline. They are assigned to counselors trained specifically to support pregnant women. Pregnant women receive a welcome packet after their first call, and a rewards card for each call completed during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Health care providers can also refer women to the Quitline using a fax referral form available at Staff and providers in all health care settings can refer patients to the Quitline. 

“We encourage all health care providers to routinely ask pregnant women about smoking at each visit. In addition to advising identified smokers to quit, these patients can also be referred to the Michigan Tobacco Quitline if help is needed with quitting,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, MD, MPH, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health. 

For more information, please call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone coaching for Michigan residents who are uninsured, pregnant, enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, veterans, cancer patients or Native American. Free nicotine replacement therapy is available to those who qualify. The Michigan Quitline also provides free materials, text messaging support, online resources and referrals to programs based on insurance coverage to all Michiganders. Call or visit

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