Wisconsin Partnership Program awards $1 million grant to combat tobacco addiction during pregnancy

MADISON, Wis. - The First Breath Families program was selected on Monday to receive a $1 million grant to help expand its goals of fighting and preventing tobacco addiction for pregnant and postpartum women. 

The First Breath Families program is a project of the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation and operates in partnership with the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

This award comes from the Wisconsin Partnership Program and will be awarded over five years to help First Breath Families continue its work in assisting high-risk groups across Wisconsin to improve health and reduce health inequities.  

“We are honored to be selected as one of the four grant recipients through the Community Impact Grant program,” Lisette Khalil, operations director of WWHF, said in a WWHF release.  “Our team is so passionate about this work, and has years of experience helping pregnant and postpartum women quit smoking.

"By including other family members who also smoke, we have a significant impact on their success, and increase the number of children who grow up in smoke-free homes.  

"Thanks to the funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, our evidence-based smoking cessation program will be able to expand and help more families throughout Wisconsin.”   

“We’re looking forward to supporting WWHF in this important endeavor,” Dr. Bruce Christiansen, a researcher at UW-CTRI, added. “Its value, in terms of ensuring mothers and babies are healthy, cannot be overstated.”

According to the release, tobacco use during pregnancy is one of Wisconsin’s top preventable causes of poor birth outcomes, citing that up to one in three women smoke during pregnancy in some area communities. 

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