Dr. Novello Urges New Yorkers who Smoke to Take Back Their Health: 'Make this a Smoke-Free New Year, Quit for Life'

Call the New York Smokers' Quitline today: 1-866-NY-QUITS

ALBANY, December 28, 2005 - State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H., today urged all New Yorkers who smoke, to make a New Year's resolution to quit smoking in 2006. The New York Smokers' Quitline provides support and encouragement for smokers who want to quit. Join the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have already successfully quit smoking with the help of the Quitline.

"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. Novello. "If you are a smoker thinking about quitting, I strongly urge you to take back your health and make this a smoke-free New Year, quit for life."

The Quitline receives more than 100,000 calls each year from New Yorkers seeking to quit smoking or requesting information to assist loved ones in their efforts to stop smoking.

The Smokers' Quitline offers personalized information and support weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (including 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on New Year's Day). Callers will receive help from a knowledgeable, understanding Quitline specialist, including tips on ways to quit successfully. The Quitline also offers FREE "starter kits" of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help smokers quit successfully.

Additional benefits of quitting include avoiding premature wrinkling of the skin; bad breath; stained teeth; gum disease; bad smelling clothes and hair; yellow fingernails and regaining your sense of smell and taste. Daily exercise becomes more productive and beneficial for a person who quits smoking because they will breathe easier and their stamina will increase.

For New Yorkers wishing to quit smoking this New Year, please call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or 1-866-697-8487 or visit the Quitline website at www.nysmokefree.com or the State Department of Health web site at www.health.ny.gov.