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Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Encourages Oklahomans to Quit Tobacco on World Heart Day

Staying Quit for One Year Reduces Health Risks by Half

OKLAHOMA CITY (September 24, 2021) – This World Heart Day, September 29, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, a program of Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), encourages Oklahomans to significantly reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by quitting tobacco. After staying quit for one year, the risk is reduced by half. After 15 years without tobacco, the risk of heart disease is nearly the same as a non-tobacco user.  

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers Oklahomans thinking about quitting tobacco FREE support including at least two weeks of patches, gum or lozenges. Get started by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW or by visiting OKHelpline.com.

“Smoking is most associated with lung disease and cancer, but tobacco use also greatly increases the risk of heart disease for all. Women face a 25% higher risk than men,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “World Heart Day is a great time to make a tobacco-free commitment for your health and for your family.” 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in about 660,000 deaths each year. In Oklahoma, rates of heart disease are 40% higher than the national level and result in more than 10,000 deaths annually. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease and leads to one of every four deaths from the disease. Smoking lowers “good” (HDL) cholesterol and makes blood more sticky and likely to clot. Blood clots can block blood flow and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Smoking also increases plaque build-up and weakens blood vessels, another major factor leading to heart disease. 

“We know that most tobacco users want to quit and while they may have tried many times in the past, using the free services from the Helpline might be the answer to making the next quit successful,” said Paola Klein, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline coordinator. “Whether it is a first attempt or fifteenth, the Helpline is here for all Oklahomans and uses evidence-based methods to increase the likelihood of successfully quitting.”

Smoking doesn’t just affect the tobacco users’ health. Breathing secondhand smoke can also cause heart disease and stroke among nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 early deaths from heart disease each year in the US. Nonsmokers who breathe secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25% to 30%. Even briefly breathing secondhand smoke can damage the lining of blood vessels and cause your blood to become stickier. These changes can lead to a heart attack.

For Oklahoma youth wanting to tackle the nicotine addiction, My Life, My Quit provides Oklahoma teens 13 – 17 tailored resources for quitting tobacco. The text-based program offers free and confidential help from a quit coach specially trained to listen to teens. MLMQ also help teens navigate social situations that involve tobacco or vaping and helps teens find healthy ways to cope with stress. These free services for Oklahoma teens can be found at MyLifeMyQuit.com or by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072.

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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 470,000 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. Learn more at OKHelpline.com.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) 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. To learn more, visit TSET.ok.gov

My Life, My Quit is a free program to help Oklahoma teens, ages 13-17, quit tobacco, including e-cigarettes. Offering tools most utilized by teens, free live texting, web chat and phone calls, My Life, My Quit supports teens through the steps of quitting tobacco to be able to live tobacco free. These free services for Oklahoma teens can be found at MyLifeMyQuit.com or by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072.

TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health