From the assistant editor

Smoking for two

Posted:  Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 8:30am

Here’s a thought: If you are pregnant, don’t smoke cigarettes. If you want to risk shortening or lowering the quality of your life, as long as you avoid spreading the smoke secondhand, that’s your decision. But when you have a baby on the way, you’re making all your choices for two.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at, 14.1 percent of women who gave birth in Maine in 2016 self-reported smoking during pregnancy, nearly twice the 7.2 percent reported nationally. This all surprised me, because I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone pregnant who was holding a cigarette.

I’m aware that quitting is immeasurably hard. But doctors want the same healthy outcome as their pregnant patients do, so work with them.

A summary states the report presents the first national data since the 2003 birth certificate revision. If interested, you can go deeper, reading through the demographics on prevalence. But whatever the demographics, and whatever the government, the medical field and nonprofits do to help remind women smoking is not conducive to safe pregnancies for them and their babies, it shouldn’t be news to anyone. How could it be, in this day and age, so different from smoking’s heyday?

I don’t think the solutions can or should come from government. But the report at least helps cast the light and hopefully gets us all thinking about where those solutions can come from, and what we can do to help Maine get closer to the national rate and be part of bringing it down.