OKLAHOMA CITY – April 30, 2018 — This Mother’s Day, Oklahoma mothers are encouraged to take a step towards a healthier life for themselves and their families by utilizing the FREE services offered by the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.
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.
“I started thinking about my future and the future of my son,” said Caroline. “He’s now almost a toddler, but I want to be there for him. The thought of not being there for him as he grew up was unbearable, and I didn’t want that to be an option.”
Nearly 1 in 5 women in Oklahoma smoke. Female smokers put themselves at a high risk for developing smoking-related health issues like infertility, lung cancer, stroke and heart disease. Children from families that smoke are twice as likely to become smokers and many mothers say they don't want to pass on tobacco addiction to their children.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause a premature birth or a low birth weight – making it more likely the baby will be sick or must stay in the hospital longer. To combat this, expectant mothers are eligible for 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.
“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.”
To celebrate Mother’s Day, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is offering all mothers, smokers and nonsmokers tips on how to protect children from the risks of smoking and secondhand smoke:
- If you smoke, call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com to learn more about the free nonjudgmental, supportive services offered through the Helpline.
- Protect your child from secondhand smoke 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.
This Mother’s Day, consider giving the gift of a healthier life to your families by thinking about quitting. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all the free services and resources available, including additional services for moms-to-be.
For more information contact:
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 tset.ok.gov.