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Project targets smoking in households with children - KOAM TV 7

Project targets smoking in households with children

Updated:

Joplin's Freeman Hospital has received a state grant to help battle the problem of second hand smoke among children in Southwest Missouri.

Freeman says nationwide more than 30% of children live with a household member who smokes.

The Clinical Efforts Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure, or CEASE, project will sponsor free smoking cessation groups seven days a week as well as nicotine replacement products.

Freeman pediatrician Dr. Dean Lasseter is a former smoker himself and says quitting smoking will be the best decision a parent makes for their child.

"Every week there is multiple instances of children who are being diversely effected by secondhand smoke," Dr. Lasseter says.  "A lot of children with asthma, a lot of children with ear infections.  Some of the instances of crib death that I have seen over the years probably related to cigarette smoke so it's been there all the time."

The efforts will include a survey at pediatric offices to indicate any smokers in the household.

If the family member does indicate their smoking habits doctors will assist them to quit or refer them to places that will.

"This is one aspect that with prevention if we can start with a baby or if we can start with a mother that is pregnant and get her to quit smoking then we are going to prevent health issues with that child early on and they are just going to have a better life," says CEASE project coordinator Cathy Brown.

The CEASE project begins in March.

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