Celebrate A Tobacco-Free Life This Mother’s Day
Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Continues to Help Moms and All Oklahomans Quit During the COVID-19 Pandemic
OKLAHOMA CITY – May 6, 2020 – Mother’s Day is May 10th and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is ready to help Oklahoma mothers, grandmothers and all women who use tobacco take a step towards a healthier life for themselves and their families. The Helpline, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), offers FREE resources for any Oklahoman seeking to quit tobacco.
Nearly 1 in 5 women in Oklahoma smoke. Female smokers put themselves at high risk for developing smoking-related health issues like infertility, lung cancer, stroke and heart disease. They are also at a higher risk of complications if contracting COVID-19. Children from families that smoke are twice as likely to become smokers, and many mothers say they don’t want to pass tobacco addiction to their children.
Caroline, of Collinsville, grew up surrounded by a family of smokers. She tried her first cigarette at age 13 and became a regular smoker for 16 years. After four quit attempts, Caroline turned to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for support. Motivated by her young son and family, Caroline quit for good with the Helpline’s assistance.
“What makes me happiest about quitting is that I have more time for my son,” Caroline said. “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 to stay quit.”
Smoking during pregnancy can cause a premature birth or a low birth weight – making it more likely the baby will be sick or stay in the hospital longer. To combat this, expectant mothers can receive additional one-on-one support from the Helpline.
For infants and young children, cigarette smoke is especially harmful because their bodies and lungs are not fully developed. Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, asthma attacks, bronchitis, pneumonia and more.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers all mothers, smokers and nonsmokers resources on how to protect children from the risks of smoking:
- If you smoke, call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com to learn more about the free, nonjudgmental support offered through Helpline services.
- Protect your child 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.
In addition to the FREE quit services and resources, the Helpline also offers information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the disruption and uncertainty of COVID-19, this can be a challenging time for tobacco users, as stress is a main motivator for tobacco use. Since the virus attacks the lungs, those who smoke are more vulnerable to infection because their lung health is already compromised, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The benefits of quitting smoking and the use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, far outweigh the risks.
For those whose regular routines have been disrupted, now could be an ideal time to replace old habits with new, healthier habits.
This Mother’s Day, consider a healthier life for you and your family by thinking about quitting tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore the free services and resources available to Oklahomans.
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.
For more information, contact:
Thomas Larson, Director of Public Information and Outreach
Direct: (405) 521-4992
Cell: (405) 642-6860