What is the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline?:
Launched in August of 2003, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free telephone service provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and the Centers for Disease Control. It is designed to help Oklahoma residents end their addiction to tobacco in its various forms and has helped over 154,000 callers as of 2010.
Considering Oklahoma has an estimated 677,000 smokers as of 2010, there's still much work to be done, but the helpline is making great progress.
How does it work?:
Once you call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline and commit to quitting, you are assigned a "quit coach." This trained counselor will help you:
- Set a date to quit and prepare for it
- Construct a plan of dealing with cravings and temptations
- Utilize an interactive website's personal tracking tools and support services
- Practice skills necessary to cope with quitting
- Gain vital support from people you trust
Is this all done in one phone call?:
It depends on the caller. Some only need one call while others check in with their "quit coach" many times until they've succeeded. Phone calls are easy, convenient and can be done from one's own home, making the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline a very effective service for motivated tobacco users.
Are medications and nicotine replacements available?:
Yes. A caller's "quit coach" may determine if medications such as the nicotine patch, nicotine gum and/or nicotine lozenges are necessary. They are then mailed out. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has provided such medications free
at some points in the past, and many times they'll be covered by the caller's health plan.
How successful is it?:
According to Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline officials, the service's success rate is about 35 percent, compared to an estimated 5 percent for tobacco users trying to stop without assistance. If you're motivated to quit smoking or stop using tobacco, it's clear you stand a significantly improved chance with the help of the service.
So how do I call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline?:
The number for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is (800) QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or en Español at (800) 793-1552. The Helpline is available 24 hours a day and online at okhelpline.com