OKLAHOMA CITY (October 26, 2010) - TSET is partnering with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to find Oklahoma women who are former smokers to be the face of a new quit smoking campaign to begin airing in the spring of 2011.
“We are looking for women between the ages of 20 - 36 who have quit smoking in the last one to three years,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “Their inspirational stories will encourage other Oklahoma women to quit.”
The goal of the campaign is to decrease tobacco use among Oklahoma women of childbearing age. In recent years, approximately 19 percent of women in Oklahoma smoked during the last three months of their pregnancy while 68 percent of women who quit during pregnancy began smoking again after giving birth. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults who do not smoke.
“Smoking cessation, especially among young women, is fundamental to our efforts to improve health status in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Garth L. Splinter, M.D., Oklahoma’s Medicaid director. “Not only does it have positive outcomes for the women, but also for any potential children.”
The partnership will allow TSET to promote the OHCA’s SoonerCare “SoonerQuit” tobacco cessation program and benefits along with the free Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline program funded by TSET, OSDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interested women are encouraged to call 1-877-333-0921 to tell their stories. Women selected to participate in the statewide marketing campaign will be compensated for their time.
“We know that most smokers want to quit,” said Strader. “These stories from real Oklahoma women who have quit will inspire others to take the first step toward a healthier lifetime, for themselves and their families”
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.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is the primary entity in the state of Oklahoma charged with administering the Medicaid and Child Health Insurance programs which are known in Oklahoma as the SoonerCare and Insure Oklahoma programs. These programs strive to provide health care coverage for low to moderate income Oklahomans. The agency must balance this fiscal responsibility with two, equally important goals:
1. Assuring that state-purchased health care meets acceptable standards of care;
2. Ensuring that citizens of Oklahoma who rely on state-purchased health care are served in a progressive and positive system.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is the public health authority responsible for protecting and promoting the health of the citizens of Oklahoma by preventing disease and injury and assuring the conditions by which Oklahomans can be healthy.