The Great American Smokeout: Free services offered

Gateway to Prevention and Recovery
A small pyramid of tobacco cigarettes set atop a thin layer of dried tobacco.

Smokers across Oklahoma and here in Pottawatomie County are encouraged to make a plan to quit tobacco for just 24 hours – or a lifetime – during the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 18.

Since 1970, the annual American Cancer Society event has raised awareness across the U.S. about tobacco cessation and encouraged tobacco users to start their quit journey.

Holly Gordon, at Gateway to Prevention and Recovery encourages local residents to visit the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline website at www.okhelpline.com. Tens of thousands of Oklahomans began their quit journey during the Great American Smokeout by contacting the Helpline for its free services and tools.

One Oklahoma couple that contacted the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline decided to quit together to provide a healthy space for their growing family. Candace and Chase Hammontree had smoked for over 12 years and each had experienced several unsuccessful attempts at quitting.

After reaching out to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, this couple felt empowered and were better equipped with tools to quit tobacco permanently.

“I want to be there for my wife and for my daughter. If we’re going to be a family and have children and have a happy, healthy life, we have to do this,” said Chase.

Quitting tobacco can be difficult, but the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline encourages all Oklahomans to start the journey to live tobacco-free during the Smokeout. By planning to quit with the Helpline and fighting tobacco cravings with the free patches, gum or lozenges provided, Oklahomans can double their chances of quitting tobacco for good.

Everyone has a unique way of quitting and many tobacco users have tried several ways to quit, often more than once. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline helps tobacco users customize their own Quit Plan and provides help with FREE services including text and email support and free patches, gum or lozenges. Additionally, Quit Coaches are available 24/7 to track progress in a customized Quit Plan.

Candace Hammontree appreciated the Quit Coaches for being encouraging and understanding her struggles.

“The Quit Coaches are absolutely sympathetic and not judgmental. They understand you’re in a moment of struggle, and they help you through it. That’s exactly what they’re there for,” Candace said.

“We know quitting smoking isn’t easy, but we also know most smokers wish they could quit. The Great American Smokeout offers participants encouragement as they begin that journey,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “Whether you’re thinking about quitting tobacco, currently quitting tobacco, or supporting loved ones as they quit, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can provide free resources and support.”

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all the free services and resources available to Oklahomans. You can also connect with the Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter and Instagram.