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New Campaign Aimed To Get Pregnant Women To Stop Smoking

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Smoking during pregnancy is harmful to both mom and her baby, but that message is not getting out to everyone. A new program is helping babies get off to a great start.

Tamar Gillan said smoking is her best friend. It has been her companion for half her life.

"I began smoking when I was 15 years old, 16 years ago," she said.

Gillan tried quitting during her first pregnancy, but she could not and she is not alone.

In North Carolina, 16 percent of adult women and 19 percent of teenage girls smoke during pregnancy. Those rates are higher than the national average.

Smoking during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight, developmental problems, breathing difficulties and even death. Great Start is a new campaign aimed at getting pregnant women to stop smoking.

The 24-hour quitline provides information on how stop smoking and weekly phone sessions with a counselor. Gillan is now five months pregnant with her second child and has not smoked in months. With the help of her counselor, she thinks this time she will quit for good.

"I just feel like I'm really going to do it this time. I have the boost of confidence I need to convince me I can do it," Gillan said.

If you would like to sign up for Great Start, you can call


or check out the Web site from the

American Legacy Foundation



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