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Tulsa County Smokers Who Quit For One Day Can Quit For Life Free Coaching By Phone And Free Patches, Lozenges Or Gum Help Oklahomans Quit For Good

Tulsa County Smokers Who Quit For One Day Can Quit For Life Free Coaching By Phone And Free Patches, Lozenges Or Gum Help Oklahomans Quit For Good

[Nov. 13, 2012]– Thousands of Oklahoma tobacco users will quit smoking and dipping for the entire day on Nov. 15 for the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout.

The Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County is encouraging all tobacco users in Tulsa County to make an attempt to quit smoking this year, even if it’s only for one day. In Tulsa, the Tobacco Free Coalition is partnering with Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa Healthy Start, Tulsa Health Department and Home Depot to conduct an education and awareness campaign. Home Depot has built “Mini-Mobile Billboards” that will be placed directly in front of local schools displaying information about the dangers of tobacco use and the effects of secondhand smoke on children in the home and car (see banners below). At the end of the school day coalition volunteers will engage parents/guardians and provide information about the effects of smoking on children and resources to help tobacco users quit. Mini-mobile Billboards will be placed at the following schools:

· Chouteau Elementary – 4132 W. Cameron St. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:00am

· Bell Elementary – 6304 E. Admiral Blvd. on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:00am

“The decision to quit smoking can be one of the most important choices you will ever make,” said Gabbrielle Harmening coalition Chair. “Make a plan, organize your support and go for it. Over the next day, month and year, you’ll feel better and you’ll have more money to spend on other things that are important to you.”

Support can come from a spouse, friends, your doctor, or professional quit coaches from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at www.OKhelpline.com. Free quit coaching, and free patches, gum or lozenges are available for all callers who qualify.

The Helpline is funded by TSET (Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust), the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 200,000 Oklahomans have called the Helpline to receive free support.

“Quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to live a longer, healthier life,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “The Great American Smokeout is a perfect day to join with others in Oklahoma and across the nation to become a non-smoker.”

Health benefits start almost immediately when one quits smoking, according to the American Cancer Society:

· Within 20 minutes of quitting, blood pressure decreases and pulse rate drops

· Within eight hours of quitting, oxygen level in blood returns to normal.

· Within 24 hours of quitting, chance of a heart attack decreases.

· Within 48 hours of quitting, ability to smell and taste is enhanced.

· Within three months of quitting, circulation and lung function improve.

· Within nine months of quitting, coughing, sinus congestion, wheezing, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.

· Within one year of quitting, risk of coronary heart disease is lowered to half of that of a smoker.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline operates seven days a week. Services are available to smokers and users of other tobacco products. Services are also available in Spanish at 1-800-793-1552 or for the Deaf and Hard of Hear through video relay at 1-866-748-2436.

For more information about the Helpline, visit www.OKhelpline.com. Other free quitting resources about quitting tobacco include: www.smokefree.gov. To learn more about local tobacco control efforts, contact Vanessa Hall-Harper of the Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County by calling 918-595-4226 or via email at vhharper@tulsa-health.org.

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