West Virginia health officials have launched a tobacco-free pregnancy initiative meant to stomp out smoking among pregnant women.
The seven-month media campaign, which was kicked off in November, includes television, radio, billboard and newspaper advertisements.
The campaign is called the “Power to quit is inside you.”
The aim is to encourage pregnant women to call the state’s tobacco “quitline,” which offers free smoking cessation coaching.
According to the state Health Statistics Center, more than 27 percent of West Virginia women smoked during pregnancy last year. That’s the highest rate in the nation.
The state Division of Tobacco Prevention also plans to distribute fact sheets, brochures and posters to doctors’ offices across the state.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, still births, and low-birth weight and premature babies.
Children born to mothers who smoke also are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.