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A NUMBER of maternal and child health advocates say they are outraged over educational materials put out by North Carolina's campaign to reduce infant mortality.
These critics say that, while the brochures and posters warn women about alcohol, illicit drugs, and other dangers to a healthy pregnancy, warnings about the hazards of smoking are conspicuously absent.
The educational material was produced by North Carolina's Drug Cabinet and the state's "First Step" Campaign, a coalition of state agencies and private groups working to reduce North Carolina's very high infant mortality rate. According to critics, the chair of the Drug Cabinet, North Carolina's lieutenant governor, James C. Gardner, is responsible for the omission.
However, the lieutenant governor denies that so-called tobacco politics has anything to do with the decision not to include information about the fetal and maternal health effects of smoking. He insists that the brochures and posters were meant to
Skolnick AA. North Carolina's Maternal Health Campaign Ignores Smoking, Maternal Health Advocates Fume. JAMA. 1991;266(24):3399-3400. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240021006