Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Can Help You Quit Smoking Now

Tuesday, January 1st 2013, 3:04 pm
By: Dee Duren

There are lots of reasons to quit smoking in 2013. Whether you make the choice for yourself or your loved ones, you can find a variety of sources and types of support.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline gives free coaching at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Callers may find they're eligible for nicotine patches, gum or lozenges. Log on for free coaching through the web.

More than 250,000 Oklahomans have contacted the Helpline since 2003. The free services are funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and other health agencies.

Smokefree TXT is another new program from http://www.smokefree.gov/. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the site offers information, tools and support for people wanting to quit tobacco. There are links dedicated to women and teens and a Spanish site at http://espanol.smokefree.gov.

Sign up by texting QUIT or IQUIT to the number 47848.

No matter how a person chooses to quit, the health benefits start almost immediately. The American Cancer Society says an ex-smoker can experience upon quitting:

  • Decreased blood pressure within 20 minutes.
  • Oxygen level in blood returning to normal within eight hours.
  • Decreased chance of heart attack beginning within 24 hours
  • Improved ability to smell and taste within 48 hours.
  • Improved circulation and lung function within three months.
  • The risk of coronary heart disease cut to half of a smoker's chances within one year.

"Since smoking affects nearly every system in the body, quitting is the single most important step a smoker can take to live a longer, healthier life," Strader said.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline operates seven days a week, and it offers services in Spanish at 800-793-1552 and for the deaf and hard of hearing through video-to-video at 866-748-2436.