B’more for Healthy Babies Launches “Just Hold Off” Campaign During Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Just Hold Off campaign promotional magnet

The B’more for Healthy Babies project launched the “Just Hold Off” campaign to protect infants and pregnant women from dangerous second-hand smoke. The announcement of the new campaign was made on October 5, 2011 at the second-annual remembrance ceremony to honor all Baltimore City infants who have died in the past year.

“Just Hold Off” urges individuals who smoke in homes, vehicles, bus shelters or anywhere near pregnant women and babies to wait or step away before lighting up. The goal of the campaign is to create a new social norm in Baltimore where smoking around babies and pregnant women is unacceptable. Campaign messaging will appear on billboards, buses, subways and transit stops across Baltimore City. Materials will also be made available for pregnant women and providers.

The campaign advertisements were created by Baltimore-based advertising agency Mission Media. They remind people of what to do without forcing a confrontation or situation that could be uncomfortable for a new mom or a pregnant woman.

Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between fetal exposure to second-hand smoke and babies being born premature and underweight, complications that increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. An analysis of Baltimore’s infant mortality data showed babies exposed to cigarette smoke in the home were more likely to die of a sleep-related death.

B’more for Healthy Babies – Baltimore City’s strategy to improve birth outcomes – seeks to ensure that all of Baltimore’s babies are born at a healthy weight, full term and ready to thrive in healthy families. “Just Hold Off” is the project’s second phase and follows from the successful first phase, launched in August 2010, which focused on promoting a safe sleep environment for infants (i.e., the ABC’s of safe sleep: infants should sleep alone, on his or her back, in a crib. No exceptions).

Baltimore City has among the highest rate of infant deaths in the state, though in 2010, unsafe sleep-related death dropped 40% in Baltimore City compared to 2009.

B’more for Healthy Babies is co-administered by the Baltimore City Department of Health and the Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs ( JHU∙CCP) leads the communication initiative of the project.

Read news coverage in the Baltimore Sun of the launch of the Just Hold Off campaign.

Learn more about B’more for Healthy Babies.


Just Hold Off campaign materials:

“Just Hold Off” Home Magnet

“Just Hold Off” Bus Shelter Poster

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