Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Sees a Double-Digit Increase in Registrants Following Price Increase

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 6, 2018) – The July 1 cigarette and little cigar price increase has encouraged Oklahomans to quit, and thousands are reaching out to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), for free services to help quit tobacco.

According to preliminary data, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has seen an 85 percent increase in registrations in the first four weeks of July compared to data from July 2017. About 4,200 Oklahomans registered for free services between July 1 and July 28 compared to 2,300 registered callers during the same time period in July 2017.

“Quitting smoking is difficult and TSET is here to help Oklahomans make that healthy choice that will save lives, and dollars,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “The increase in registrants is encouraging to see and confirms what we know, most smokers want to quit, and increasing the price of cigarettes and little cigars will help smokers make the decision to quit, and stay quit. Price increases also keep young people from starting, and that’s positive news for the future of our state.”

While adult smoking in Oklahoma has declined by 24 percent over the past decade, roughly 19 percent of adults still smoke. Nationally the rate is about 17 percent. The cigarette and little cigar price increase will encourage 18,700 adults to quit smoking, and discourage more than 17,000 Oklahoma kids from ever starting to use tobacco. Price increases and smokefree policies are a few of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, help smokers quit and stay quit.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers free assistance to Oklahomans who want to quit tobacco, including text and email support, phone and web coaching and at least a free two-week supply of patches, gum or lozenges for registered participants. SoonerCare patients may be eligible for additional benefits and can talk with their health care provider about quitting options. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customizable options provide flexibility for Oklahomans searching for a quit plan that fits their lifestyle.

Check out the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline’s cost calculator to find out how much tobacco use is costing you. Oklahomans can also learn more by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Helpline website.

Not quite ready to quit? The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can still help. For those thinking of quitting tobacco, the Helpline offers information and resources to prepare Oklahomans for the next step. Additionally, tobacco users are encouraged to take the Helpline’s Readiness Quiz to assess their attitudes, beliefs and emotions regarding the quitting process.

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to learn more. Connect with the Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter and Instagram.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Julie Bisbee, Director of Public Information and Outreach
julieb@tset.ok.gov
(405) 521-4992 (office)
(405) 301-3693 (cell)

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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 365,000 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.