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Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day

OKLAHOMA CITY – May 27, 2014 – The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is encouraging tobacco users to become tobacco free during World No Tobacco Day on May 31. World No Tobacco Day is an annual day of awareness developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that highlights the health risks associated with tobacco use in hopes of ending the tobacco epidemic for good.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and has more than 16 million Americans suffering from a disease caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 50,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. In Oklahoma, smoking alone kills more than 6,200 adults annually and leaves thousands suffering with chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

“The toll of tobacco is devastating. Not only does tobacco take its toll on health, killing more people than drugs, alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, homicides and suicides combined, but it takes its toll on countless families every day. From missing a daughter’s wedding, a grandchild’s first steps or even your own wedding anniversary, tobacco steals these moments and never gives them back,” said Tracey Strader, executive director of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET). “World No Tobacco Day provides an opportunity to take back those special moments by setting a quit date on May 31 and quitting for life.”

A world with no tobacco would mean millions of lives saved. According to the CDC, reducing smoking prevalence worldwide by 20 to 25 percent could prevent 100 million premature deaths by 2020. If the current trends of smoking continue, approximately eight million people worldwide will die each year from tobacco use by 2030.

In order to make every day World No Tobacco Day, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers free quit coaching for all Oklahomans. Since 2003, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has helped more than 275,000 Oklahomans. Oklahomans can call 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online at OKhelpline.com to talk with a specially trained Quit Coach who provides nonjudgmental support for tobacco users and helps build personalized quit plans. Along with free quit coaching, free patches, gum or lozenges are available for all Oklahoma users.

“When you decide to quit tobacco, you need lots of support, someone who is understanding, to help you in those difficult moments,” said Jason, Quit Coach for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. “We don’t judge you. We can help you quit, and stay quit.”

To connect with professional Quit Coaches from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com. Connect with the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter.

For more information contact:
Elyse Maxwell
elysem@tset.ok.gov
(405) 568-8568

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free service for Oklahomans wanting to quit tobacco. Funding is primarily provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Oklahoma Employees Group Insurance Division and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has served more than 275,000 Oklahomans since 2003 and was ranked the top quitline for reaching tobacco users seeking treatment in FY2013 by the North American Quitline Consortium.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. To learn more go to: www.tset.ok.gov.