Great American Smokeout offers chance to begin journey to quit

OKLAHOMA CITY — On Nov. 19, smokers across Oklahoma and the U.S. are encouraged to make a plan to quit tobacco for a day – or for a lifetime – during the Great American Smokeout. Since 1970, the American Cancer Society event has raised awareness about tobacco cessation and encouraged tobacco users to begin their quit journey.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers judgment-free help, including quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges, to Oklahoma tobacco users looking to make a change.

“We know quitting smoking isn’t easy – the Great American Smokeout offers participants encouragement as they begin the process of quitting tobacco,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “Whether you’re thinking about quitting tobacco, currently quitting tobacco, or supporting loved ones in their quit journey, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can provide free resources and support.”

Since 2003, more than 450,000 Oklahomans have used the Helpline’s resources. In addition to tips and resources online, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline provides FREE services including text and email support and free patches, gum or lozenges. Additionally, quit coaches are available 24/7 to assist in creating a customized quit plan.

“I couldn’t have done it by myself,” said Shaun Pryor of Edmond, a former smoker. “The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline was instrumental in my success.”

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to quitting tobacco. However, the Helpline’s evaluation results show that those who work with a quit coach and use the full range of services available have the best chance of quitting. Oklahoma smokers can benefit from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s free resources and tools both during the Great American Smokeout and the rest of the year.

“With so many resources available, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can help users build a customized quit plan in preparation for the Great American Smokeout, allowing them to quit not only for one day, but hopefully for life,” said Paola Klein, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline coordinator. “No matter your age or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting improves health both immediately and over the long term. We know that giving up smoking with support like that offered through the Helpline more than doubles your chances of success.”

TSET will launch a new education campaign for My Life, My Quit in the coming weeks, which will run through the holidays. The campaign, "End the Cycle,” will target teens in Oklahoma ages 13-17 who are vaping nicotine and want to quit. The main message of the campaign is that, "Nicotine addiction can take control and My Life, My Quit can make it easier to stop."

What to do

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all the free services and resources available to Oklahomans. Connect with the Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter and Instagram. 

In addition, the Helpline has partnered with My Life, My Quit to provide quit services to teens. The My Life, My Quit program is a text-based service to help youth quit tobacco, including vaping. These free services for Oklahoma teens can be found at MyLifeMyQuit.com or by texting “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989.

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