FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CELEBRATE A SMOKEFREE MOTHER’S DAY

Free Services Available Through the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – May 3, 2016 — Mother’s Day is a time when mothers reflect on the important role they have in influencing their children’s lives. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is encouraging Oklahoma moms who smoke to consider quitting this Mother’s Day for their health and their children’s health.

Brandi Fullam, of Tulsa, started smoking when she was 11 years old, and eventually became a two-pack-a-day smoker. Brandi quit smoking when she became pregnant, but she quickly began again after the birth of her son, Zamien. More than 50 percent of female smokers resume smoking within two to six months after giving birth, according to the Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.

“I decided to quit when we were driving in the car,” said Brandi. “My son, Zamien, was like, ‘the smoke, it’s bothering me, it’s bothering me,’ but quitting without support was very hard for me. That’s why I called the Helpline. The Quit Coaches were really understanding and caring. With their help, it was a lot easier to quit than I thought it would be.”

To assist mothers on their quitting journey, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline connects participants with specially trained Quit Coaches who provide nonjudgmental support and help with a customized Quit Plan. Free text and email support, phone and web coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges are available for all Oklahoma tobacco users interested in quitting.

For soon-to-be moms who want to quit, the Helpline offers extra Quit Coach™ support so babies can have the best start at life—and receive the gift of a healthier mom. “If Zamien would come outside when I was smoking,” said Brandi, “he would do a fake cough, and be like, ‘Mom it’s making me cough,’ you know. I’d always be like ‘Just go in the house,’ like it was no big deal. But then after a while, it started getting to me. It kind of made my heart hurt.”

Roughly 19 percent of Oklahoma women smoke, and smoking among women remains a serious issue. Female smokers put themselves at a high risk for developing smoking related diseases such as lung cancer, stroke, COPD, heart disease and other serious chronic illnesses like diabetes. Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or to have low birth weight – making it more likely the baby will be sick and have to stay in the hospital longer. Some babies may not live past the first year.

Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves. Additionally, infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke, as their bodies and lungs have not yet fully developed. Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, asthma attacks, bronchitis, pneumonia and more.

To celebrate Mother’s Day, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is offering all mothers, both smokers and nonsmokers, tips on how to protect their children from the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke:

  • If you smoke, call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com to learn more about the nonjudgmental, supportive services offered through the Helpline.
  • Protect your child from secondhand smoke by avoiding places that allow smoking.
  • Maintain an entirely tobacco-free home and car.
  • Educate your children about the dangers of smoking and tobacco use at an early age.
  • Ask your child about their friends’ attitudes towards tobacco. Discuss peer pressure and how to deal with it.

This Mother’s Day, consider giving the gift of a healthier life to your families by thinking about quitting. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all of 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.

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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 300,000 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.ok.gov/tset.

For more information, contact:
Sjonna Paulson
405-521-3885
sjonnap@tset.ok.gov