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Oklahoma Encourages Smokers to “Talk With Your Doctor” for Help Quitting for Good
CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign messages placed statewide through TSET and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline 1-800-QUIT-NOW
OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 24, 2013) – A doctor’s advice and assistance more than doubles the odds that a smoker will successfully quit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), and State Department of Health (OSDH) are partnering with Oklahoma physician groups on the new “Talk With Your Doctor” campaign to encourage smokers to ask a doctor for help. The campaign also encourages doctors to ask patients if they smoke and offer assistance in helping them to quit.
The “Talk With Your Doctor” initiative is part of CDC’s national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers, which features a variety of ads with real people who are living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. The graphic, emotional ads show how smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke has changed lives forever.
“These stories motivate smokers to try to quit, and the ‘Talk With Your Doctor’ campaign encourages smokers to get help from their doctor to quit,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “Over 1,000 Oklahomans contacted the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for help with quitting while the Tips ads aired last spring. We’re happy to extend the length of the campaign in Oklahoma, and partner with physician groups and other health care professionals to encourage more Oklahomans to quit.”
Nationally, about one in five U.S. adults (43.8 million) are current cigarette smokers. In Oklahoma, 23.3 percent of adults smoke. In 2012, Oklahoma ranked 39th among states for the percent of adults who smoke, up from 47th worst in 2011.More than 70 percent of smokers want to quit, and about 50 percent try to quit each year, according to the CDC.
Tips From Former Smokers television ads will continue to run statewide for the remainder of September featuring the tagline: “You Can Quit. Talk With Your Doctor for Help.” This simple call to action has proven to empower patients to ask their doctors and other health care professionals to help them quit.
Robert McCaffree, MD, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) says, “We know that smoking remains a major public health problem in Oklahoma. As physicians, we can play a key role in helping patients quit. OSMA and our fellow health care provider associations across the state hope the ‘Talk With Your Doctor’ initiative will remind our health care providers of the importance of talking with their patients about smoking and helping them quit for good.”
Physicians play an important role in helping motivate patients to quit. Physicians should routinely ask patients whether they use tobacco and encourage those who do to quit, and patients should feel empowered to talk with their doctor for help.
“Our message is simple,” says Sylvia Lopez, Chief Medical Officer for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Neonatologist. “If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health, and the health of your children. We are here to help give you the best chance of success. Don’t wait. Talk with your doctor today about quitting.”
In addition to talking with their doctors, smokers who want help quitting can call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline toll-free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.OKhelpline.com for free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges. For more information about the Tips campaign, including profiles of the featured former smokers, other campaign resources, and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.
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.