December 27, 2013
Thousands of Oklahomans look forward to saving money and enjoying better health and vitality in 2014 after quitting tobacco with Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline or other resources
Many Oklahomans are resolving this new year to look better, feel better and pocket more money. All three goals can be achieved in one sweeping action: quitting tobacco.
Oklahoma now has more former smokers than current ones, and they used a variety of strategies and resources to quit, including the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at OKhelpline.com. In fiscal year 2013 alone, more than 33,800 people contacted the Helpline, including 287 in Jackson County.
Being tobacco free has great advantages, including:
* Saving money. The average cost of a single pack of cigarettes in Oklahoma is $5.38. Putting that money in a piggy bank every single day instead would add up to about $2,000 in 52 weeks. Those giving up tobacco often benefit from lower health insurance rates every month also.
* Looking and smelling good. Ditching tobacco leads to cleaner teeth, fresher-smelling breath, clothes and hair, and can reduce facial lines.
* Feeling great. Taking a deep breath while being physically active is much easier when there is no smoke – or secondhand smoke – barring lung health. Living tobacco free lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, and it reduces the risk of cancers and heart and lung diseases.
“Quitting tobacco is a popular New Year resolution and it’s no wonder when you think of all the health and lifestyle benefits that come with it,” said Mike Bell, Chair of the Jackson County Tobacco Education Committee. “By successfully becoming tobacco-free, a new year could mean a new you.”
Quitting tobacco – or never starting – also serves as a positive influence on children and youths, while protecting them from secondhand smoke. That’s why hundreds of school districts throughout the state have adopted 24/7 tobacco-free policies.
“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 other tobacco products,” said Tracey Strader, executive director of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET). “Whether you call the Helpline for free quit coaching, talk with your doctor or quit on your own, there’s never been a better time to quit.”
To contact the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which offers free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for English or 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish-speaking callers, or visit on at OKhelpline.com.
Additional free expert help and information are available for people who desire to quit tobacco for their New Year’s resolution – or any time of year. Smokefree.gov, a website funded by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, offers an array of information, tools and support for people who want to quit tobacco. The site has specialized links dedicated to women, teens and people who speak Spanish. Or BecomeAnEx.org, funded by the American Legacy Foundation, which offers tools and online group support.
To learn more about what’s happening locally to support clean indoor air and tobacco-free property policies, contact Kendra Whitaker of the Jackson County Tobacco Education Committee at 580-482-7308 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.