Tobacco Stops With Me commemorates 10 years by unveiling new plan to reduce smoking

Posted on: 10/17/18


On Oct. 19, Tobacco Stops With Me, Oklahoma’s initiative to educate the public on the dangers of secondhand smoke and preventing tobacco use, commemorated 10 years of improving health with a landmark announcement. Together with partners from across the state, including Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Southern Plains Tribal Health Board and more than 30 other partners, Tobacco Stops With Me announced a new effort to save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in our state.

The “10th Anniversary: Targeting Tobacco Control Policies & Programs for a Tobacco-Free Future” initiative outlines the necessary steps Oklahoma should take to lower the adult smoking rate to 10 percent in the next decade. The initiative focuses on creating common sense solutions and modernizing policies to improve the health of all Oklahomans. Policy recommendations include:
  • Prohibit smoking in cars with children present;
  • 100 percent clean indoor air;
  • Raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products to 21;
  • Ban on all menthols and flavored tobacco;
  • Cigarette price increases over the next decade;
  • Strengthen enforcement against underage tobacco sales; and
  • Remove smokers as a protected class of employees.
These policies have been proven to reduce tobacco use and increase the overall health of people in states that have implemented them. Oklahoma deserves a healthier future and the creation of these policies will provide that.

“Tobacco Stops With Me has spent the last 10 years educating Oklahomans about the dangers of secondhand smoke and tobacco use. We’ve seen smoking prevalence reduce by more than 25 percent,” said John Woods, executive director of TSET. “In the next 10 years, we’re taking a stand against tobacco in our state and doubling down on an aggressive agenda that will not only cut our smoking by 50 percent, but also protect our most vulnerable Oklahomans – our kids.”

At the same time, TSET will be investing millions in programs to educate young people on the hazards of tobacco use, increase youth advocacy, and educate to end the generational cycle of nicotine addiction. The TSET board of directors also approved increased investments in the development of programs in health care systems to focus on Oklahomans that are most adversely impacted by the burden of tobacco.

Tobacco Stops With Me has already improved the health of Oklahomans over the last 10 years. The smoking rate dropped to 20 percent for the first time in the state’s history and youth smoking was cut in half. Nearly 70 percent of Oklahomans support a statewide smoke-free law. To learn how citizens and organizations can support saving lives and improving Oklahoma’s health by cutting the Oklahoma adult smoking rate in half over the next decade, visit stopswithme.com. If you’re interested in becoming a partner in support of a tobacco-free Oklahoma, contact Julie Bisbee at julieb@tset.ok.gov or (405) 521-4992.  

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