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Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Earns 95% Satisfaction Rate

Quit rate exceeds benchmark; more users seek help to stop vaping

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 17, 2020) — The annual evaluation report of the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, a program of TSET, shows that users continue to be satisfied with its services and the Helpline again exceeded the benchmark quit rate among states with tobacco helplines.

Between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline registered 28,547 tobacco users for services. Among registrants, 94.3% reported overall satisfaction ratings of ‘very,’ ‘mostly’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied with Helpline services, with only 5% ‘not at all’ satisfied. Since 2003, more than 450,000 Oklahomans have used the Helpline.

During a seven-month follow-up survey, 34.4% of those surveyed reported not smoking for one month or longer, exceeding the North American Quitline Consortium benchmark of 30%.

“The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is one of the top quitlines in the country, and we’re proud to provide a service that helps Oklahomans beat tobacco addiction,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “Oklahomans can have confidence that free services remain available to help Oklahomans conquer all types of tobacco and nicotine addiction.”

The report showed the Helpline’s services evolution as well as changing needs by Oklahoma tobacco users. Since 2017, online registrations for the Helpline have increased from 22.3% to 38%. This year also saw more people using electronic cigarettes (19.8%) when they register for Helpline services than ever before. This represents a 30% increase since 2017 and a doubling since 2014. The majority also want help quitting e-cigarettes.

The number of Helpline registrants during the report’s time period represents 3.2% of all tobacco users in the state and included people from all 77 Oklahoma counties.

“In addition to telling us who is using the Helpline, this annual report shows how tobacco-users hear about our services and provides details about what leads to their success,” Bisbee said. “This information enables us to meet the needs of Oklahomans – especially specific groups who use tobacco at higher rates and suffer more negative consequences as a result.”

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Director Jon Hart, Ph.D., noted the report illustrates how the Helpline continues to improve the lives of Oklahomans.

“This year’s annual report shows us the incredibly positive impact the Helpline had on the lives of those who used the service. It also helps us chart a course to be even more impactful in the years to come,” Hart said. “Incorporating each year’s report data and staying connected to the latest tobacco-related research allows us to offer the most effective quit options specifically adapted for the people of Oklahoma.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • More than half (53.8%) of registrants reported incomes of $20,000 or less.

  • Registrants without insurance made up 42.3% of total users in FY20.

  • Those with Medicaid or Medicare made up 28.5% of FY20 registrations.

  • Eight out of every 10 tobacco users who used the Helpline received nicotine replacement therapy.

  • More than half (52.4%) of tobacco users registering for services reported having at least one mental health or substance abuse disorder.

  • During FY20, the Helpline was utilized by 323 pregnant women, an increase of 6.6% from FY19.

  • TV ads were the most frequently cited (31.9%) way that registrants heard about the Helpline.

  • Almost 8% of registrants reported hearing about the Helpline through online sources such as Facebook and Twitter, up from only 2.7% in 2018.

  • For FY20, 17.4% of registrants came from Oklahoma County and another 15.5% came from Tulsa County.

  • Per capita, Craig, Atoka and Woodward counties had the highest rates of registration, with 17 or more registrants per 1,000 adults.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW) is funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) and provides free tools and support to quit tobacco use. Services are available 24/7 and include phone and web coaching, free text messages and email support. Registered callers can also receive at least a two-week supply of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

The full report can be found at tset.ok.gov.

Connect with the Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter and Instagram.

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free service for Oklahomans wanting to help themselves, loved ones, patients or employees live tobacco free. Funding is primarily provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has served more than 450,000 Oklahomans since 2003 and has been ranked among the top quitlines for reaching tobacco users seeking treatment for the last 10 years by the North American Quitline Consortium.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations 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, cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and 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.