Health Department Achieves Recognition For Reducing Smoking Rates Among Pregnant Women

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department has been recognized by the Tennessee Department of Health as one of the top five counties in the state who have met the Tobacco Settlement Fund objective of reducing the rate of smoking among pregnant women.

In 2014, 12.5% of Hamilton County pregnant women reported smoking during their pregnancy. By 2015, that number had dropped to 11.1%.

“Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight,” said Baby and Me Tobacco Free program coordinator Charlean Walls, MPH. “Low birth weight births tend to cost more, have longer hospital stays, and result in more negative long term health outcomes than normal weight births.”

Hospital and healthcare costs for low birth weight babies can be between 8-17 times as much as a normal baby.

The Health Department’s Baby & Me Tobacco Free program is open to any pregnant woman in Hamilton County who smokes or quit within the last 3 months before becoming pregnant. As long as the participant remains smoke free, they can receive vouchers for free diapers. Each voucher is worth $25. They can receive up to 2 vouchers during the prenatal phase and one a month for the first year of baby’s life. If a household member also commits to being smoke free, they can receive a second voucher for a total of $50 per month (during the post-partum phase only).

The program is free, open to any age, and there is no income requirement. Eligible participants can join the program at any stage during their pregnancy. A support group is available for participants to share resources and encourage each other. If a woman is on the fence about whether to join or not, they are welcome to come to a support group meeting and talk to other participants.  Support group meeting times are posted on the Baby & Me Facebook page.

To register for the Health Department’s Baby and Me Tobacco Free program or for more information about it, call 209-8320, or visit on the web here.




Health Care Justice In America Seminar Is Nov. 2

The debate over a national health care system comes to Chattanooga on Nov. 2 with a presentation by Art Sutherland, M.D., state coordinator of the Tennessee Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.  Dr. Sutherland poses the question, “How do we achieve health care justice in America?” He believes the current, profit-driven private health insurance system fails ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Gives Residents The Wedding They Never Had 66 Years Later

Carl and Betty Hullander, residents at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence, Chattanooga, renewed vows after 66 years on Thursday, at the memory care community, at 7620 Shallowford Road.   The Hullanders married at the courthouse in Ringgold, in 1951, and Morning Pointe associates wanted to help the couple relive their day in a very ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s All About People

The leaders of Hamilton County’s Mental Health Court held a heart-warming open house Friday afternoon and it was announced that just since February, the creation has saved the county over $3 million in incarceration costs. But to hear County Mayor Jim Coppinger or Judge Don Poole tell it, that’s not what is important. “Soon after the court started, a kind, quiet man I’ll ... (click for more)