TULSA, OK – [December 28, 2012] – The new year is a time when many look forward to making positive changes, and thousands of Oklahomans plan to do so by quitting tobacco.
Oklahomans are learning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tobacco and secondhand smoke contain hundreds of toxic chemicals such as cyanide, arsenic, strychnine and other deadly poisons. As a result, far too many Oklahomans suffer from cancer and heart disease.
While giving up cigarettes or smokeless tobacco can be tough, people who make that choice for themselves or their loved ones can find a variety of sources and types of support.
“There’s never been a better time to quit, with so many options for state-of-the-art treatment and support available,” said Tracey Strader, executive director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).
Strader said residents can turn to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, either by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting www.OKhelpline.com, to receive free coaching over the phone or through the web. Helpline participants also receive materials to help them quit and are eligible for nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.
More than 250,000 Oklahomans have contacted the Helpline since 2003. The Helpline’s free services are made possible by funding from TSET, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Employees Group Insurance Board, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the CDC.
Many of those helped called or logged on from here in Tulsa County.
“If you live in Tulsa County, and you want to quit smoking, there’s no better time than now,” said Gabrielle Harmening, Coalition Chair for the Tobacco Free Coalition of Tulsa County. “Set your quit date for New Year’s Day and start your 2013 with prospects for a healthier you.”
Another new quit smoking tool is Smokefree TXT, a text messaging program available from www.smokefree.gov. Participants can sign up by texting QUIT or IQUIT to the number 47848.
Smokefree.gov is a website funded by the National Cancer Institute that offers a wealth of information, tools and support for a wide range of people who want to quit tobacco. The main site has specialized links dedicated to women and teens, along with a Spanish site at http://espanol.smokefree.gov.