For this Mother’s Day, the Livingston County Health Department is helping to encourage all women to begin living a tobacco-free life.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Michigan according to a recent release by the Livingston County Health Department. This Mother’s Day they are encouraging all moms, grandmothers, aunts, and women-in-general to begin leading a tobacco-free life. The department reports that tobacco-use kills more than 16,000 Michigan residents each year. Currently 18.7% of women in the state smoke, including 16% of women who do so during pregnancy. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that more than 100,000 babies have dies from complications caused by a mother smoking during pregnancy over the past 50 years.

In a 2014 study by the Surgeon General, it was revealed that women’s risk for smoking-related diseases has risen sharply over the past 50 years. They are now equal with men’s risks for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiovascular diseases. In COPD cases, the number dying from it now exceeds the number of men.

The Health Department recommends that anyone wanting to quit talk to their healthcare provider of call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline. The Quitline offers free telephone coaching, nicotine replacement therapy, and a bundle of resources for those interested. Pregnant women can receive extra help from the Quitline from specially trained counsellors who will coach them during the time they are carrying and through the postpartum period. The Michigan Tobacco Quitline can be reached by dialing 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or by clicking the link below. (MK)