To the Editor,
Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions made by mothers throughout our community. We know the power of a mother’s love … and the power of her actions.
Unfortunately, there are too many mothers who smoke or use other forms of commercial tobacco products. More than 650,000 women in North Carolina smoke. Each year more than 4,600 women in North Carolina die of smoking-related diseases. Women who smoke are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as non-smoking women. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among women.
Moms who smoke can celebrate Mother’s Day by quitting. The first step is to call QuitlineNC at 1-800-Quit-Now (800-784-8669). You can maintain a smoke-free home and car. You can also encourage your children not to smoke or use other tobacco products. And all moms, smokers and nonsmokers alike, can do a lot to protect their kids from secondhand smoke.
The N.C. Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch works across the state to provide educational awareness and programming to prevent youth from taking up the addictive practice of tobacco use. This Mother’s Day, support their efforts. Educate your child about the dangers of smoking. Give your child a day free from secondhand smoke. Or call the Quitline.
A mother’s love is powerful. Be there to share it as long you can.
Kerry D. Bird
Coordinator of Teen Tobacco Use Prevention
N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs