OKLAHOMANS WHO QUIT SMOKING SAVE MONEY, COMMIT TO HEALTHIER, HAPPIER LIVES
Free Coaching and Free Patches, Gum or Lozenges Are Available to Quit for Good
OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 21, 2011) – Seiglinde Owens enjoyed a trip for two after calling the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Is the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline giving away free vacations? Well, no, but the Tulsa resident said her helpline coach was a crucial ally in her resolve to quit smoking cigarettes after 13 years. And the money Owens saved just one month after kicking a pack-a-day habit helped pay instead for some desert fun.
“That’s $150, so I saved a lot of money,” she said. “So me and my friend – she quit smoking at the same time – we just treated ourselves to Vegas (and) we had a blast.”
The start of a new year is a popular time for people to quit using tobacco. A new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin showed that successful quitters reported being happier than smokers in general, and they were also happier about their health. These results remained true even three years out.
Here in Oklahoma, nearly 40,000 people each year call on the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for free assistance in reaching that life-changing goal.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), the Oklahoma Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Helpline participants can receive free nicotine-replacement patches, gum or the newest option, nicotine lozenges. TSET Executive Director Tracey Strader said the medication, used together with free helpline coaching, form a great one-two punch for knocking out tobacco.
“You can do well with coaching alone, or with medications alone – they are both very effective – but the most effective approach is to get coaching with the medication,” Strader said. “When used together, it is a winning combination.”
Strader also recommends anyone wanting to quit tobacco for the new year to call the Helpline or go online at www.OKHelpline.com now, so that person can use its resources to work up to a quit date such as Jan. 1.
Kristi Clemens of Norman looks forward to many more New Year’s Day celebrations now that she has stopped smoking. Clemens suffered a heart attack in 2009 at age 29 and learned that cigarettes were a contributing factor. “Now,” she says, “I can run and do anything I want and be able to breathe. It’s amazing.”
Clemens coupled her tobacco cessation with eating better and doing more exercise. She planned to celebrate her healthier lifestyle in a fashion that Owens surely would approve.
“I’m saving all of the money that I saved from not smoking and taking a trip to Bermuda,” Clemens said.
For more information on the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline or other tobacco information or cessation resources, visit www.OKHelpline.com. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline operates seven days a week. Services are available for free to Oklahomans who smoke as well as those who use other tobacco products. Services are also available in Spanish by calling 1-800-793-1552. For more information about quitting tobacco use go to: www.smokefree.gov.
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TSET, a constitutional endowment trust committed to improving the health of the Oklahomans, was created by an overwhelming majority vote of the people in 2000. The foresight of Oklahoma voters is beginning to make a substantial impact through community grants, in combination with the other research and programs funded by TSET, including the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). Funding from TSET will be available to create better lives through better health for generations to come. To learn more go to: www.tset.ok.gov.