FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THIS FATHER’S DAY, QUIT TOBACCO WITH FREE QUIT COACHING

OKLAHOMA CITY – June 19, 2015 — This Father’s Day, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is encouraging fathers who use tobacco to make the healthy decision to quit. Fathers play a significant role in influencing the attitudes and behaviors of their children. From the decisions they make to the habits they practice, their behaviors can have a lasting effect on their children.

Bryce Barfield, of Shawnee, decided to quit smoking when his daughter was only six months old. After more than 25 years of smoking, Barfield finally decided that the risks associated with being a smoker only meant he would have less time in life with his new baby girl.

“I know how important dads are to daughters, and I wanted to be there for my daughter as she grew up,” said Barfield. “I knew very well that if I didn’t quit smoking, I wasn’t going to make it. Being there as a healthy dad was the biggest thing on my mind. I attempted to quit so many times, and I knew I needed all the support I could get. That’s why I called the Helpline.”

Barfield called the Helpline in 2008 and has been tobacco free ever since. To assist Oklahoma fathers on their quitting journey, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline connects those registered with specially trained Quit Coaches who provide non-judgmental support and help build personal quit plans. Free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges are available for all Oklahoma tobacco users trying to quit.

“My daughter knows that my main reason for quitting smoking was for her, so that I could live a long life and be there for her,” said Barfield. “I am working to be a healthier dad for her, and I am in good health after six and a half years of being smokefree. It is something I don’t ever want to turn back to.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Smoking causes an estimated 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men.
  • Men who smoke are 22 times more likely to die from lung cancer.
  • Smoking triples middle-aged men’s risk of dying from heart disease.
  • Nearly 500 Oklahoma kids will lose their father to smoking every year.
  • Smokeless tobacco use among Oklahoma males is 13.9 percent, nearly double the national average of 7.1 percent.
  • Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, and at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals are found in smokeless tobacco.

Barfield is one of many thousands of Oklahomans who are reaping the benefits of living tobacco free, as Oklahoma now has more former smokers than current ones. Many of them quit with assistance from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which has helped more than 275,000 Oklahomans since its inception in 2003.

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, following @OKhelpline on Twitter, or visiting OKhelpline.com to hear more quitting stories.

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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 250,000 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.

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