To improve the health of Oklahomans of all ages and populations through community partnerships that prevent tobacco use among youth, reduce tobacco dependence and promote smoke-free environments
|What Does This Measure? | Why Is This Important? | What Do the Results Tell Us? | What Actions Are We Taking?|
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Smoking measures the percentage of the population over age 18 who smoke tobacco products regularly. It is defined as the percentage of adults who self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who currently smoke every day or some days. Oklahoma measures tobacco use from the preceding year's data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
The national median of regular smokers is 21.2% of adults. The percentage of the adult population who smokes varies from a low of 11.8% in Utah to 29.0% in Kentucky.
About 6,200 Oklahomans die from smoking-related diseases each year. It is Oklahoma's leading cause of preventable death, killing more Oklahomans than alcohol, auto accidents, AIDS, suicides, murders and illegal drugs combined.
Smoking damages nearly every organ in the body and causes many diseases, including respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, pre-term birth, low birth weight and premature death. Between the years 2001 and 2004, estimated annual smoking attributable health care costs exceeded $95 billion.
Not only are smokers themselves at increased risk for negative health consequences, so are those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, as it has serious effects on the population causing respiratory infections in children and heart disease and lung cancer in adults.
Oklahoma currently has the fourth highest rate of smoking among the 50 states and District of Columbia. Only Arkansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky have higher rates.
In the U.S., about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women are due to smoking. People who smoke are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
In addition to lung cancer, smoking also causes cancer of the voice box (larynx), mouth, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix and stomach. It can also cause acute myeloid leukemia.
People who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to smoke, but their risk is still higher that the risk for people who have never smoked.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) created the Center for the Advancement of Wellness (The Center) to be a center of excellence in addressing tobacco and obesity in Oklahoma, which are responsible for 75 percent of all premature deaths in the state. The Center works in a strategic partnership with the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) to implement the tobacco-related recommendations of Oklahoma Health Improvement Planning (OHIP) and continues to work with the OHIP Tobacco Work Group to meet the changing needs of tobacco control in Oklahoma.
The Center is in the process of revamping the OSDH website to include updated and useful information related to tobacco for both the public and public health professionals.
Individuals interested in learning more about ways to quit smoking and improve their health may visit the Shape Your Future website at www.shapeyourfutureok.com (link opens in new window). The Shape Your Future campaign strives to encourage Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free.
Individuals interested in quitting tobacco may contact the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-Quit-Now. Through the Helpline, callers receive free one-on-one quit coaching, specialized materials, and referrals to community resources. More information may be found at www.ok.gov/helpline/ (link opens in new window).