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Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Quit Facts:
This fact sheet includes tobacco users who called the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008 and reported their race as Black or African American. During this time period, nearly 5000 African American tobacco users received services (n=4954) representing about 8% of all tobacco users who called the Helpline during this time.
Two-thirds of the African American tobacco users registering with the Helpline were female (67%); the median age of registrants was 43 years; and 81% had at least a high school degree or GED. Almost half reported having no health insurance (47%), and 71% had an annual income of less than $20,000.
Although African American registrants with the Helpline might be characterized as long-term smokers, with over half reporting smoking 20 or more years (59%) and another 33% smoking 6 to 19 years, most would be considered “light” smokers, with 54% smoking less than one pack of cigarettes per day.
African American tobacco users were most likely to hear about the Helpline from a friend/family member or from TV (Figure 1).
About three fourths (76%) of African American callers were enrolled in the multiple call cessation program. Of those, 62% received 8 weeks of NRT plus counseling from the Helpline, and 12% received 2 weeks of NRT plus counseling from the Helpline.
Satisfaction with the Helpline services among African American participants varied by the type of intervention received (Figure 2). It is important to note that both the single-call and multiple-call interventions are available to all callers, and tobacco users choose the level of intervention they wish to receive. Among the 610 African American Helpline participants who participated in the follow-up evaluation, single-call participants were least likely to be satisfied with the services they received from the Helpline (81% at least somewhat satisfied). Furthermore, those in the multiple-call program who also received NRT from the Helpline were most likely to say they were at least somewhat satisfied (98%).
One measure of the effectiveness of the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is 30-day abstinence at the 7-month follow-up. As expected, abstinence proportions varied by intervention received, with abstinence proportions more than twice as high among those receiving the multiple call intervention compared to single call (Figure 3). An unexpected finding is that NRT with the multiple call program did not boost quit rates among African Americans as is seen with other populations using the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline during this time period. Further examination of the 7-month quit rates revealed that the difference between those who received the multiple call program plus NRT (31.2%) and those receiving only the multiple call program (36.8%) was not statistically significant. The quit rates observed for African American participants in the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, regardless of intervention received, far exceed the quit rates for “cold turkey” (approximately 5%).