THIS MOTHER’S DAY, CELEBRATE A TOBACCO FREE LIFE

OKLAHOMA CITY – May 10, 2017 — This Mother’s Day, May 14, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline wishes Oklahoma mothers and their families a happy, healthy and tobacco-free life.

Caroline, of Collinsville, grew up surrounded by a family of smokers. At age 13, she tried her first cigarette, and became a regular smoker for the next 16 years. After four quit attempts on her own, Caroline turned to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for help. In August 2016, motivated by her young son and family, and with free support from the Helpline, Caroline quit for good.

“I started thinking about my future and the future of my son,” said Caroline. “He’s just a baby now, but I want to be there for him. The thought of him burying me was very upsetting, and I didn’t want that to be an option.”

To assist mothers and other participants in their own quit journey, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers FREE services that allow participants to select individual options or choose a comprehensive or bundled program of services. These services include text and email support, phone and web coaching, texting and free patches, gum or lozenges. Soon-to-be-moms are eligible for additional one-on-one support so babies can have the best start at life – and receive the gift of a healthier mom.

“What makes me happiest about quitting is that I have more time for my son,” said Caroline. “Those 5-10 minute increments I used to spend smoking was time away from my son. This extra time is all the motivation I need – I’m just happy for these moments.”

Roughly 1 in 5 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 infertility, lung cancer, stroke, COPD, heart disease and 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 or have to stay in the hospital longer.

Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves. Infants and young children, whose bodies and lungs have not fully developed, are particularly vulnerable to dangerous secondhand smoke. 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 free 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, including additional services for moms-to-be. 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 tset.ok.gov. 

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