National day to quit tobacco provides occasion to celebrate local and state success – and incentive to help more Tulsa County residents kick the habit for good
TULSA, OK – [November 18, 2013] – With Oklahoma’s adult smoking rate dropping to a historic low this year and more cities and school districts banning tobacco use on their properties, the Great American Smokeout provides a timely opportunity for local residents to join the tens of thousands of Oklahomans who have quit tobacco.
The Great American Smokeout is a national annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society that takes place on the third Thursday of November. It is scheduled this year on Nov. 21.
The Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County encourages smokers to use the Great American Smokeout date to plan to quit for a day. Quitting for one day smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life and reduce the risk of cancer.
“More and more people in Tulsa County and across the state have successfully given up tobacco with help from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or by developing their own quit plan,” said Paula Warlick, chairman of the Tobacco Free Coalition. “But we remain active in our community because the tobacco industry continues to market its products to our youth and young adults, which ultimately has led to the death of thousands of Oklahomans each year.”
But the situation is improving. Thanks in part to local groups like the Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County, which receive technical support from the Oklahoma State Health Department and grant awards and management from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), fewer Oklahomans are smoking.
A national study released in August says the percentage of adult smokers in Oklahoma has dropped from 26.1 percent in 2011 to 23.3 percent last year – which improved Oklahoma’s smoking rate among the states from 47th to a tie for 39th. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report also states that Oklahoma had 75,000 fewer smokers in 2012 than in 2011.
“More Oklahomans are quitting tobacco than ever before as businesses, schools, and faith and community organizations adopt smokefree and tobacco-free policies, and provide support to Oklahomans who desire to quit smoking or using tobacco products,” said TSET Executive Director Tracey Strader. “Whether you call the Helpline, talk with your doctor or quit on your own, there’s never been a better time to quit.”
More than 38,000 people contacted the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline in fiscal year 2012, including 5,125 residents of Tulsa County. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can be reached by telephone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or at 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish-speaking callers, or by visiting OKhelpline.com. The Helpline offers free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges.
Activities that help individuals quit tobacco products and support the adoption of clean indoor air and tobacco-free property policies and ordinances will continue beyond the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21. To learn more about the effects of tobacco use and ways to quit, visit www.OKhelpline.com or www.StopsWithMe.com.
Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
TSET is a grant making state agency that funds the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, public education campaigns to improve health and grants to communities, statewide organizations, and research institutions. The TSET Board of Directors’ strategic plan focuses on reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease – the state’s leading causes of preventable death – by preventing tobacco use and obesity.
Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County
The Tobacco Free Coalition is a CX grantee of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust serving Tulsa County and promoting smoke free environments, tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention. For more information about joining the Tobacco Free Coalition contact Vanessa Hall-Harper, firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-595-4226.