Gov. Kevin Stitt Declares January 19-26 as Quit Week in Oklahoma
January is a great time to quit smoking. The OK to Quit campaign is the perfect opportunity to join with other Oklahomans and quit for good.
It’s “OK To Quit”
Tobacco kills thousands of Oklahomans every year. In an effort to save lives, Gov. Kevin Stitt has declared Jan. 19-26, 2022 as Quit Week in Oklahoma. The decree kicks off OK to Quit, a campaign to help people quit using tobacco products. Dozens of hospitals, businesses and organizations across the state participate in the annual mission. Their goal is to make sure tobacco users know about the free resources available to help them quit.
“Nearly 70 percent of adult smokers say they want to quit, but only about 7 percent are able to do so successfully each year,” said Oklahoma Hospital Association President Patti Davis. “Nicotine is incredibly addictive, but there are treatments that have proven to work. So why aren’t people using them? A study by the U.S. Surgeon General found that fewer than 1 in 3 adults who try to quit use proven cessation treatments. That has to change. We have people who want to quit, so let’s make sure they know what works and how to get it. Their life literally depends on it.”
Combining counseling and medications can more than double the chances of quitting successfully. Adding combinations of both long-and-short-acting nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches and gum, ups the chances even further. Quit lines, smartphone apps and text messaging programs have also helped people quit.
The OK to Quit campaign also addresses the problem of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes, also called vapes. The FDA and CDC estimate that more than two million teenagers use the nicotine-filled products that can harm the developing adolescent brain. Experts say using nicotine in adolescence may also increase the risk for addiction to other drugs in the future.
OK to Quit is a grassroots social media campaign. Through positive messages posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, tobacco users can not only get access to the resources they need to kick the habit, but they can also receive motivational support.
The OK to Quit task force is a collaboration of professionals at Oklahoma Hospital Association, Mercy, Norman Regional Health System, SSM Health St. Anthony, OU Health, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, and Guiding Right.
The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) supports OHA’s Hospital Helping Patients Quit and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. Information: www.okoha.com/hhpq.