Placing a priority on prevention and research as long-term strategies to improve the health of Oklahomans, TSET works with numerous partners and grantees to help fulfill the Oklahoma State Plan for Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation, Oklahoma Physical Activity and Nutrition State Plan, and the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan. Actions recommended in these plans will save lives, save money, and create a healthy workforce to strengthen Oklahoma’s competitive edge.
The following accomplishments have been realized as a result of TSET-funded programs, partnerships with other state agencies, communities, businesses, and tribal nations, and the public policies enacted by the Oklahoma State Legislature and Oklahoma voters.
Research in Cancer and Tobacco Related Diseases
- In FY 2008, the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, a program of the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center, was funded at $5 million over six years. The OTRC funds seed grants to Oklahoma institutions and plans are in place to initiate Phase I Clinical Trials if additional funding is made available.
- In FY 2010, the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research was funded at $5.5 million over five and one-half years. The OCASCR is collaboratively governed by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University. To date, the OCASCR has awarded grants in research, equipment, and travel to all three institutions, and plans are underway to recruit five new scientists if additional funding is made available.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation
- Adult smoking prevalence decreased from 28.7% in 2001 to 23.7% in 2010.
- Quit attempts among smokers have increased from 48.1% in 2001 to 58.4% in 2010.
- Cigarette sales decreased from 108.1 packs per person in 2001 to 79 packs per person in 2009.
- 74.4% of Oklahoma households reported having a smokefree home policy in 2010, compared with only 54.9% in 2001.
- The number of Oklahoma high school youth identified as “committed non-smokers” has increased from 25.5% in 1999 to 40.3% in 2009.
- The number of Oklahoma middle school youth identified as “committed non-smokers” has increased from 41.4% in 1999 to 64.1% in 2009.
- In 2003, the State Legislature adopted the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act, which made most workplaces smokefree. (Significant exemptions in the Act included restaurant smoking rooms, free standing bars, and certain other workplaces).
- In 2004, Oklahoma voters approved a tobacco excise tax increase. The State Legislature strengthened the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act.
- In 2009, the Clean Air in Restaurants Act established a rebate program to incentivize restaurants to close smoking rooms and become smokefree.
- The same bill in 2009 also created the Oklahoma Certified Healthy Communities Act and Oklahoma Certified Healthy Schools Act establishing advisory committees to develop criteria by which communities and schools may be certified. Criteria were released August 2011.
- 85% of Oklahomans live in a community covered by a Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control grant. 34 grantees cover 51 counties and one tribal nation.
- 181 Students Working Against Tobacco teams are actively working with their peers and within their communities to promote tobacco free policies, expose tobacco industry marketing practices, and prevent youth from using tobacco products.
Tobacco-Free Property Policies (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all events)
- Over 200 public school districts. Two-thirds of Oklahoma’s public school students attend a tobacco-free school.
- 17 universities and 5 career-techs.
- All Oklahoma State University campuses. OSU was the first Big 12 school to go tobacco-free.
- Dozens of Oklahoma businesses. Dollar Thrifty’s tobacco-free policy was extended nationwide.
- 27 Oklahoma City and Tulsa area hospitals and 23 rural hospitals.
- 11 communities have passed ordinances making their parks tobacco-free.
- 4 athletic associations.
- 3 housing authorities in northeast Oklahoma.
- 6 state agencies.
- 3 tribal nations adopted the policy for government-owned property, excluding casinos.
Tobacco Cessation Systems Initiatives
- The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has served over 175,000 Oklahoma tobacco users from 2003 through 2011.Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for number of smokers served annually.
- The quit rate among Helpline participants is 30% to 35%; the “cold turkey” quit rate is only 5%.
- Over a seven-year period an estimated that $67 million (cumulative) has been saved in excess medical costs due to the number of smokers who quit as a result of the Helpline services.
- Alere Wellbeing, Inc., provider of the Helpline services, currently employs Oklahomans as “Quit Coaches” to provide services to callers from 27 states and over 400 businesses.
- A best practice smoking cessation intervention is being implemented throughout eight Integris Health System locations, St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, and hospitals in Ada, Weatherford, and Sayer are implementing a similar program.
- Oklahoma Medicaid beneficiaries have access to all smoking cessation medications, and Medicaid providers are eligible for reimbursement for tobacco treatment services.
- State employees covered by an HMO have access to all prescription tobacco treatment products.
- State and local employees covered by the state’s “HealthChoice” insurance have access to all smoking cessation medications and additional Helpline coaching sessions.
- The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is integrating tobacco treatment into its mental health and substance abuse programs.
Public Education through Health Communications – Tobacco Stops With Me Campaign
- Two-thirds of Oklahomans have seen, read, or heard the campaign messages.
- Nearly 80% of Oklahomans exposed to the campaign report that the campaign makes them want to protect their families from secondhand smoke.
- Exposure to the campaign doubled quit attempts among smokers.
- Non-smokers exposed to the campaign were 50% more likely to help someone quit smoking.
- The campaign has increased knowledge about the harms of secondhand smoke and increased support for tobacco-free policies.
- Over 65% of Oklahoma smokers are aware of the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.
Preventing Obesity Through Improved Nutrition and Fitness
- 15 Communities of Excellence in Nutrition and Fitness grants were awarded to cover 21 counties in May 2011. These five-year grants began a planning phase in July 2011.
- TSET and other public and private partners are implementing the Shape Your Future campaign.
Addressing Emerging Opportunities to Improve the Health of Oklahomans
TSET opens an “unsolicited proposals” process between October and January each year. Organizations may propose programs related to any of the areas of allowable funding as specified in the Oklahoma Constitution. TSET covers up to 50% of the project’s costs.
- The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has received a three-year grant to work with physician practices to systematically address tobacco with their pregnant patients.
- The Indian Health Care Resource Center has received a three-year grant to work in Nutrition and Fitness with 12 schools in the Tulsa area that have high Native American enrollment and high free and reduced lunch rates.