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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Tobacco cessation critically important for pregnant women

As Indiana pushes to improve the access to health care for pregnant women and new mothers one of the areas they should make a priority is tobacco cessation. Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. To provide free tobacco cessation to pregnant women and mothers of small children can be one of the most important things they do for their health and the health of their children.

Exposure to smoke during pregnancy has been causally linked to infant death for many years now. It is also linked to miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of SIDS. However, approximately 13.5 percent of women in Indiana reported smoking during their pregnancies in 2017.

In Allen County, the smoking rate among pregnant women is almost 10 percent according to 2017 data reported. This is too many babies born addicted to nicotine. Secondhand smoke for children is the leading cause of school absence, upper respiratory infections, ear infections and can lead to lifelong asthma. Third-hand smoke is another risk to the unborn and infants.

The state of Indiana is doing significant work to improve our current ranking as the 18th worst state for infant mortality. There is an effort in supporting pregnant smokers on the path to quitting and continued support after quitting but a more strategic plan by training health professionals in the 5-step (ask, advise, refer, prescribe, evaluate) process would be more beneficial.

Pregnant women in Allen County who want free help to quit smoking can call the Parkview Nicotine Free for Baby and Me program at 260-266-2474 or the Indiana Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit QuitNowIndiana.com.

Jan Moore, RN

Fort Wayne

Cell phones aren’t the only driving issue

I am all for passing the bill to ban cell phone use with your hands while driving. But I thought this was already illegal. You know what else is already illegal? Running a red light.

I see drivers doing this on a regular basis, especially in high traffic areas where drivers may have to wait a few extra minutes before the light turns green again. If the city cannot figure out where these areas are, we are in big trouble – Lima Road and Coliseum, Coldwater Road and Coliseum, West Jefferson and Illinois Road are a few examples.

The city already made improvements to these intersections to decrease the wait time but drivers still run the red light, especially when in a turn only lane. Red light cameras were suggested a few years ago and people balked. I wonder if these same people would think it was such a bad idea if someone they loved was hurt or killed in a traffic accident because of an inattentive or careless driver.

Speeding is something else that is already illegal. People drive through the Lakeside area like they are going to a fire. Not only are these traffic hazards, it is a poor example for young drivers. How do you expect them to obey traffic laws when adult drivers don’t?

Laura J. Smyser

Fort Wayne

Give President Trump his due

I am still waiting for any news report to give our President any compliment for anything he has done. We are much better off now than we have been in a long time. If you look at our unemployment being very low and it seems as if many things are booming compared to what we have had.

I keep seeing where people say President Trump is not religious but he has done a lot for religion since he was elected.

I didn’t vote for someone who promised to live a Christian lifestyle; I voted for someone who promised to defend my right to live that way. We did not elect a pastor in chief; we elected a commander in chief. For the most part he has kept the promises he made.

Ralph Klinker

Monroeville

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