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Letter to the Editor: Gift of Fresh Air WAATPN

Dear Editor,

While the economy is slowly recovering, many in the African American community are still hard pressed to make ends meet. Coupled with this, some families are under even more pressure during the holidays; wanting to show their loved ones that they care, while trying to meet basic needs.

Years ago, when my dad was laid off, we didnt have a lot of money to buy gifts, so we came up with the idea of giving love coupons to each other to do chores. While we were poor, that was one of the most memorable and loving holidays during my youth.

Because of my involvement with the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention & Poverty Network, that memory gave me an idea for the holidays; instead of buying gifts, cigarette smokers should consider giving their loved ones the gift of fresh air!

Far too many people in the African American community – especially pregnant women – continue to ignore the dangers of smoking or second hand smoke.

During pregnancies, in particular, mom and baby are at risk if mom smokes or is exposed to second hand smoke. According to the Centers for Diseases & Prevention (CDC), research has shown that smoking during pregnancy causes health problems for both mothers and babies, such as pregnancy complications, premature birth, low-birth-weight infants, stillbirth and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The money might be funny this holiday season, but the best gifts do not cost a dimejust time, consideration and determination. Call Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), to get assistance in quitting smoking, and give pregnant moms and their babies the gift of fresh airand a healthier life!

Sincerely,

Marshall, W. Curtis C-DHS