More Oklahomans Trying To Kick Tobacco Following Tax-Hike

Monday, August 6th 2018, 11:56 pm
By: News 9

More Oklahomans are trying to kick tobacco following a state-wide tax hike.

The increase went into effect in July and since then calls to The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline have nearly doubled.

“It can cause several issues including cancer,” Dr Sheleatha Taylor-Bristow said.

Despite its ugly truths, Dr. Taylor-Bristow says quitting tobacco is easier said than done.

“Once they start, nicotine is highly addictive it's just a hard habit to kick,” Taylor-Bristow said.

But a tax increase forcing smokers to shell out a buck extra per pack is giving many of them the motivation they need.

Since July 1, TSET Executive Director John Woods said they have fielded around 4,200 phone calls. That number is an increase from the 2,300 calls the same time last year. An 85 percent increase.

“We know that the price of cigarettes has a great impact on individuals and their desire to try to quit smoking,” Woods said.

But for many smokers it’s an all too familiar road. 

“We know that it will take smokers 6 to 7 attempts to quit successfully,” Woods said.

But with a little help Woods says success is possible.

“They get two weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, we connect them with services of phone base counseling, web base counseling with experts that can really help give them the tools to be successful,” Woods said.

Woods says it is possible to shake the habit for good.

“That's one of the things our counselors are able to help smokers with is identifying what those stressors are and find other ways to deal with them other rather than picking up and lighting a cigarette,” Woods said.