In 2016, maternal smoking rates in both Missouri and Lafayette County were significantly higher than the national average. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported 7.2 percent of women who gave birth in the United States smoked during pregnancy. However, the rate was 15.5 percent in Missouri and 21.3 percent in Lafayette County, according to Missouri Information for Community Assessment Maternal, Infant and Child Health (MICA).
By 2017 not much had changed. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reported the rate of mothers who smoked during pregnancy was about 14 per 100 live births in Missouri, and about 20 per 100 live births in Lafayette County.
LCHD’s Maternal Child Health (MCH) Program is designed to combat tobacco use in Lafayette County. The overall goal of the program, funded by Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, is to improve the health and well-being of mothers and children in the County. “The high maternal smoking rate is a priority health issue of ours,” said Breann Jensen, a health educator at LCHD. To address this issue, the program provides smoking cessation resources and tobacco education classes.