OKLAHOMA CITY (December 26, 2007) - Oklahomans resolving to quit using tobacco this New Year now have the support of expanded services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. In addition to free coaching sessions available over the phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), participants can access a 24-hour-a-day interactive Web site complete with personal tracking tools and discussion forums.
People calling the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline receive free coaching sessions with professional Quit Coaches∆ that focus on developing a quit plan tailored to participants’ personal needs and critical support in sticking with the plan that includes up to four follow-up coaching sessions. Now, between coaching sessions, those trying to quit are also encouraged to access the Web site to get that extra support when they need it.
Web Coach™ allows participants to build a personal Quit Plan and complete self-assessment exercises. Responses are shared in real time with a Quit Coach, who uses that information to prepare for the next coaching session.
Just as importantly, participants can also interact on an ongoing basis with each other and Quit Coaches in the Web Coach Discussion Forums. These forums allow participants to learn behavioral tips from Quit Coaches and from others who are quitting or who have successfully quit in the past. Tailored motivational and educational emails are also sent to participants throughout the program. “We want to make sure that every Oklahoman who wants to quit has all the tools necessary to be successful,” said Tracey Strader, executive director, Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, “With more people accessing the internet everyday, it just makes sense to provide Web support services that build on the extensive phone services already available. These expanded services are part of our commitment to helping people quit tobacco for good.”
For a limited time, Oklahoma residents who call the Helpline for coaching will also receive a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches or gum mailed directly to their homes. This combination of cessation medications and coaching more than double the chances of a successful quit attempt.
“Quitting smoking doesn’t happen overnight,” said Strader. “It takes a strong commitment and focused effort, but Oklahomans who want to quit using tobacco don’t have to go it alone. Now they’ll have the help of their Quit Coaches, nicotine patches or gum, and a network of support from other
Serving over 50,000 Oklahomans since 2003, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, with assistance from state tobacco tax funds made available through the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline's hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, and staff will return any messages left after hours. For more information about the Helpline, go to: www.ok.gov/tset/Programs/Helpline.html. For more information about quitting tobacco use go to: www.smokefree.gov.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust was stablished through a constitutional amendment approved by Oklahoma voters in 2000. While most state governments have failed to keep their promise to use tobacco settlement funds for tobacco prevention and other programs to improve health, Oklahomans have created an endowment to assure that funds will be available for these purposes for generations to come. To learn more go to: www.tset.ok.gov.