This Mother’s Day, Give The Gift Of Quitting Tobacco
OKLAHOMA CITY – May 8, 2015 — Mother’s Day is a time for mothers to reflect on the important role they have in influencing their children’s choices regarding tobacco use. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is encouraging Oklahoma moms who use tobacco to make the healthy decision to talk to a Quit Coach and quit for good this Mother’s Day.
Brandi Fullam, of Tulsa, started smoking when she was 11 years old, and eventually became a two-pack-a-day smoker. Brandi quit smoking when she became pregnant, but she quickly began again after the birth of her son, Zamien. According to the Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, more than 50 percent of smokers resumed smoking within two to six months postpartum.
“I decided to quit when we were driving in the car,” said Brandi. “My son, Zamien, was like, ‘The smoke, it’s bothering me, it’s bothering me.’ But quitting without support was very hard for me. That’s why I called the Helpline. The Quit Coaches were really understanding and caring. With their help, it was a lot easier to quit than I thought it would be.”
To assist mothers on their quitting journey, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline connects registered users 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.
“Zamien told me that the smoke makes him cough,” said Brandi. “If he would come outside when I was smoking, he would do a fake cough, and be like, ‘Mom it’s making me cough,’ you know. I’d always be like ‘Just go in the house,’ like it was no big deal. But then after a while, it started getting to me. It kind of made my heart hurt.”
Tobacco use among women is still a serious issue, as nearly 20 million adult women smoke cigarettes. Additionally, more than 86,000 children have already lost their mothers to smoking. Lung cancer now kills more women per year than breast cancer. In fact, the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report states that women are now as likely as men to get sick and die from smoking-caused diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Since 1959, the additional risk of lung cancer among women smokers has jumped nearly tenfold.
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 secondhand smoke:
- If you smoke, call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com and make a plan to quit. Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves.
- Protect your child from secondhand smoke by avoiding businesses and venues 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.
- Make sure your child’s school has a strong tobacco-free policy campus-wide for students and staff.
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.