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Coalition urges tobacco users to use new Web resources to quit

Oklahomans in Cleveland County resolving to quit using tobacco this New Year have the support of free counseling services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. In addition to free coaching sessions available over the phone at 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669), participants can also access a 24-hour-a-day interactive Web site complete with personal tracking tools and discussion forums.

People calling the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline receive free coaching sessions with professional Quit Coaches® that focus on developing a quit plan tailored to participants’ personal needs and critical support in sticking with the plan that includes up to four follow-up coaching sessions. Between coaching sessions, those trying to quit are also encouraged to access the Web site to get extra support when they need it.

"We want to make sure those who want to quit using tobacco in Cleveland County have all the tools necessary to be successful," said Travis Humphrey, chairperson of the Tobacco Free Cleveland County Coalition. "This expanded service is just one more way to help people quit tobacco for good."

Web Coach™ allows participants to build a personal Quit Plan and complete self-assessment exercises. Responses are shared in real time with a Quit Coach, who uses that information to prepare for the next coaching session. Just as importantly, participants can also interact on an ongoing basis with each other and Quit Coaches in the Web Coach Discussion Forums. These forums allow participants to learn behavioral tips from Quit Coaches and from others who are quitting or who have successfully quit in the past. Tailored motivational and educational emails are also sent to participants throughout the program.

"Quitting smoking doesn’t happen overnight," said Humphrey. "It takes a strong commitment and focused effort. We want those in our community who want to quit tobacco to know they don’t have to go it alone. Now they’ll have the help of their Quit Coaches, nicotine patches or gum, and a national network of support from other participants at their fingertips."

For individuals who like a group setting cessation service, Norman Regional Health System will be offering the QuitSmart program, which starts January 5. For community members, the program costs $45 and scholarships are available. For registration, call the Helplink at (405) 440-8802 and for further information, call Jerry Deming, (405)307-3175.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline's hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, and staff will return any messages left after hours. For more information about the Helpline, go to: www.ok.gov/tset/Programs/Helpline.html. For more information about quitting go to: http://www.BecomeAnEx.org.

Tobacco Free Cleveland County Coalition (part of the Cleveland County Turning Point) is a group of individuals and organizations interested in making a difference in Cleveland County. This coalition utilizes various strategies to promote a tobacco free environment in public places and workplaces, educate the community on the economical and social losses associated with tobacco use, expose the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry, and help members of the community quit tobacco use by promoting the Oklahoma Tobacco Quitline and local cessation resources.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust was established through a constitutional amendment approved by Oklahoma voters in 2000. While most state governments have failed to keep their promise to use tobacco settlement funds for tobacco prevention and other programs to improve health, Oklahomans have created an endowment to assure that funds will be available for these purposes for generations to come. To learn more go to: http://www.tset.ok.gov.

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Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144
Email NRHS_Corporate_Communications@nrh-ok.com