Help Available for Smoker's New Year's Resolutions to Quit

Free Two-Week Starter Quit Kit Available for Eligible Smokers

Albany, N.Y. (Dec. 31, 2007) – State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines M.D., today urged all New Yorkers who smoke, to make a New Year's resolution to quit smoking in 2008. New Years is a time when many smokers make a renewed effort to try to quit smoking. This year, rather than quit alone, smokers across the state are contacting the New York State Smokers' Quitline for help.

"The health benefits of quitting smoking are undeniable. A smoker who quits reduces their risk of developing smoking-related heart disease, stroke, cancer and emphysema," said Dr. Daines. "If you are a smoker thinking about quitting, contact the Quitline, where our trained specialists can help you develop a quit plan, send you a free quit guide and advise you about different types of medications available to help you stop smoking."

In 2007, the Quitline received more than 214,000 calls from New Yorkers seeking to quit smoking or requesting information to assist loved ones in their efforts to stop smoking. The number of Quitline callers receiving free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) "starter kits" increased by 42 percent, with caller requests remaining stable and online requests recording a four-fold increase. By far the greatest increase has been in the number of hits to the Quitline web site, www.nysmokefree.com, where the number of visitors rose more than six-fold this year compared to 2006.

While quitting can be difficult, with a plan and some expert support it can be done. The Quitline's trained specialists are available weekdays from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 12:00 midnight) and weekends from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. During off-hours callers can either leave a message or go online and order nicotine medications without delay. A free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges is available to eligible smokers.

Additional benefits of quitting include avoiding premature wrinkling of the skin, stained teeth, gum disease, bad smelling clothes and hair, yellow fingernails and regaining a sense of smell and taste.

New Yorkers who want help keeping their resolution to quit smoking this New Year, should call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or 1-866-697-8487 or visit the Quitline web site at www.nysmokefree.com.