FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THINK ABOUT QUITTING SMOKELESS TOBACCO DURING THROUGH WITH CHEW WEEK, FEB. 14-20

Free Services Available Through the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline

OKLAHOMA CITY – February 12, 2016 — What would it take for you to quit smokeless tobacco? During Through With Chew Week, Feb. 14-20, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline encourages smokeless tobacco users to explore the free services offered by the Helpline.

“Quit Coaches at the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline are specially trained to provide smokeless tobacco users with customized Quit Plans to help them be successful,” said Jason, Quit Coach™ for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. “We provide a variety of free tools, including free phone and web coaching, free patches, gum or lozenges, text and email support and more.”

According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, smokeless tobacco use has increased steadily since 2004. Several contributing factors include increased advertising by the tobacco industry, the introduction of a wide variety of new smokeless products and flavors at low price points, and marketing messages intended to specifically appeal to current or former smokers. Many smokers switch to smokeless tobacco as a method of quitting smoking, yet it is even more habit forming, containing up to four times the highly addictive nicotine found in cigarettes.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, funded by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), encourages smokeless tobacco users to understand the facts about smokeless tobacco and think about quitting during Through With Chew Week.

Don’t be fooled. Smokeless isn’t harmless. Smokeless Facts:

What harm can smokeless tobacco cause to your body?

  • Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals and can cause oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer.
  • Sugar in smokeless tobacco may cause decay in exposed tooth roots.
  • Dip and chew can cause your gums to pull away from the teeth where the tobacco is held. The gums do not grow back.
  • Leathery white patches and red sores in the mouth are common and can turn into cancer.

Why is smokeless tobacco addictive?

  • Nicotine, found in all tobacco products, is a highly addictive drug that acts in the brain and throughout the body.
  • Dip and chew contain more nicotine than cigarettes.
  • Holding an average-size dip in your mouth for 30 minutes gives you as much nicotine as smoking three cigarettes. Someone who dips two cans a week gets as much or more nicotine as a pack-a-day smoker.

“Even if you’ve tried to quit before, it is important to try again and take advantage of the free resources available to you,” said Paola Klein, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline coordinator. “Shortly after quitting, your health will improve, you’ll have more money in your pocket and, most importantly, you will have more quality time to spend with loved ones.”

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all of the free services 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.

To learn more about Through With Chew Week, visit OKhelpline.com/through-with-chew.

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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:
Elyse Maxwell
elysem@tset.ok.gov
(405) 568-8568