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Press Release

Press Release # 023-12
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: 347-396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Alexandra Waldhorn:

Health Department Launches New Smoking Cessation Campaign, Suffering Every Minute, Which Depicts the Health Consequences of Smoking

City Announces Free Nicotine Patch and Gum Giveaway through September 20th

Sept 5, 2012 – The Health Department today announced a new campaign, Suffering Every Minute, which includes two new television, Internet and print ads depicting the devastation and suffering caused by smoking-related illness. In one ad, a man violently coughs, which is a frightening symptom of lung cancer. In the other ad, a woman must be cared for by her young son as she suffers from the late-stages of smoking-related cancer. The ads end with the stark statistics: 285,000 Americans are living with lung cancer caused by smoking, and more than 846,000 Americans are living with cancer caused by smoking. In collaboration with New York State Smokers’ Quitline, the Health Department is offering city smokers nicotine replacement therapy at no cost through September 20th, with special services for light smokers while supplies last. Smokers can call 311 or 1-866-NYQUITS, or search NYC Quits on, to enroll in the program.

“We’ve made impressive strides in lowering smoking rates in New York City through our comprehensive tobacco control efforts, but there is still much work to do.  Smoking continues to ravage the health of our community, and devastate families,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “I encourage all smokers to take advantage of this program and call 311 for help. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to improve your health.”

Public education campaigns are a crucial part of educating New Yorkers about the health consequences of smoking and the importance of quitting immediately. In 2011 alone, over 70,000 New Yorkers requested help for quitting smoking, mostly during the Health Department’s campaigns. Even light smokers can receive special services, including nicotine gum and cessation coaching, and information on how to quit and stay smoke-free.

Smoking continues to be the leading cause of premature preventable deaths in New York City. While the smoking rate has significantly declined since 2002, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers still smoke, putting themselves and those they love at risk of disease, disability and death.

Quitting can be tough, but nicotine patches and gum can double your chances of success. Here are some tips to make quitting smoking easier:

  1. Prepare yourself. Make a list of your reasons for quitting and plan for situations that may tempt you to smoke.
  2. Pick a quit date. Select a day when your routine will be as close to normal as possible (i.e., no vacations, major work deadlines, or life events such as weddings or moving) and get rid of ashtrays and lighters, and all cigarettes ahead of time.
  3. Make your home and car smoke-free. It is healthier for others and will help you resist smoking.
  4. Get support and encouragement. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are quitting and ask for their support. Socialize with non-smokers.
  5. Get a quit buddy. Ask a smoker to quit with you or find someone who has already quit who you can talk to for support. Connect with other quitters on the agency’s “NYC Quits” Facebook page – – an online support network with nearly 10,000 fans.
  6. Exercise. Make exercising a priority. Redirect time you may have spent smoking to physical activity to avoid or minimize weight gain: go for a walk, bike over the Brooklyn Bridge or join a group on

For more information on quitting smoking search “quit smoking” at