In acknowledgment of this year’s Great American Smokeout Governor Brad Henry has proclaimed November 14-21 as “Tobacco-Free Oklahoma Week” across the state of Oklahoma. He hopes the proclamation will raise awareness about tobacco-related issues.
In Oklahoma, tobacco is responsible for more than 6,000 deaths each year. An additional 120,000 Oklahomans suffer from cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases caused by tobacco use or secondhand smoke. Norman Regional Health System and The Tobacco Free Cleveland County Coalition will be hosting activities during the week that will promote protections for Oklahomans from secondhand smoke, model healthy behaviors for our youth, and help support tobacco users who are trying to quit.
“Tobacco use causes so many health problems, from heart disease and cancer to emphysema and other respiratory issues,” said Travis Humphrey, Chairperson, Tobacco Free Cleveland County Coalition. “We have vigorously supported and will continue to support local initiatives in Cleveland County that will protect the public and our children and help those who want to quit using tobacco products.”
Tobacco’s toll on Oklahoma’s youth is staggering. Each year, 4,700 Oklahoma kids become new daily smokers, and 216,000 of our youth are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Tragically, 87,000 Oklahoma kids who are now under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
On November 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Norman Regional Hospital will host a free Great American Smokeout Fair. The event will be held in the hospital’s education center located at 901 N. Porter in Norman. Several experts will be on hand to provide information about what is available both medically and emotionally for those looking to quit. This information can help people learn how to quit and stay quit.
“Quitting is not just a matter of willpower, it is also about having the basic information that makes quitting easier for most people,” said Jerry Deming, Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist from Norman Regional. “Families and friends are encouraged to invite their loved ones who use tobacco to the informal, informative evening that could change lives in a positive way.”
A spirometer test will be offered by a respiratory therapist that can calculate the true lung age of smokers. The results may be surprising.
“Our goal is to empower people to make the best decisions for their lives,” said Deming.
During Tobacco-Free Oklahoma Week, Oklahomans from Cleveland County can also show support for a healthier state by sharing their tobacco-free stories at www.StopsWithMe.com.
Those entering may be eligible to win a pair of tickets to the OU vs. OSU football game on November 28. To learn more about Oklahoma Tobacco-Free Week and view the Governor’s proclamation visit www.StopsWithMe.com