Tobacco use harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general. Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. Tobacco related disparities also continue to impact the health of groups defined by race, ethnicity, educational level, and socioeconomic status and across Oklahoma.
Approximately 7,500 Oklahomans die each year from tobacco-related causes. The Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion works to prevent tobacco initiation and reduce existing tobacco use through systems-level and social norm change. Tobacco control efforts in Oklahoma work in partnership among many organizations and agencies to ensure adherence to the best practice strategies that have been proven to work.
The 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s report on the Health Consequences of Smoking recommends enhancing implementation of proven tobacco-control strategies, including:
- Fully funding statewide tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended levels
- Raising the average price of tobacco products
- Extending comprehensive smokefree indoor protections (prohibit smoking in indoor worksites and public places to include restaurants and bars)
- Mass media campaigns that shape social norms around preventing tobacco use initiation, encouraging cessation among current users, and encouraging support for smoke-free environments.
Specific tobacco control efforts include:
- Monitor clean indoor air regulations
- Policy implementation to reduce secondhand smoke exposure
- Promote cessation services that are currently available to every Oklahoman through the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (okhelpline.com)
- Support the OSDH MPOWER Program
- Support for local community grantees working on tobacco control such as the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Healthy Living Program.
Additional information on the Best Practices for Tobacco Control Programs, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/