New York City Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
AT THE 26th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT, CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO
QUIT SMOKING FOR GOOD
Thursday, November 21 is the Great American Smokeout
Tomorrow, City Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH will present remarks at the American Cancer Society's (ACS) 26th Annual Great American Smokeout. Others in attendance will include Chair of the City Council's Health Committee Christine Quinn, Health Committee member and Council Minority Leader James Oddo, the Executive Vice President of ACS Hector Batista, as well as various representatives of community based organizations. The event will be held at the Iridium Jazz Club, a smoke-free establishment.
Dr. Frieden said, "Most people who have ever smoked have already quit. For the 70% of people who smoke in New York City who want to quit, there's good news - medication and counseling can double, triple, or quadruple the likelihood of successful quitting. Quitting smoking is - by far - the single most important step smokers can take to improve their health.
"When smokers quit, they benefit immediately," Dr. Frieden continued. "Risk of a heart attack, stroke, cancer, and lung disease all decrease. Also, smokers' families and coworkers will have less risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma and other childhood illness, and lung disease."
"It is often easier to stop smoking if attempted along with someone else. The Great American Smokeout provides the environment for people to gain that strength in a group. Further help is available for those who want it by calling the New York Smokers' Quitline at 1-888-609-6292. For information and help quitting, visit our Web site at www.nyc.gov/health," Dr. Frieden concluded.
To mark the occasion, DOHMH has produced a public service announcement (PSA) to be run free of charge by several local radio stations throughout the day tomorrow. "It's time to quit smoking! Most smokers have already quit, and you can too. Join the Great American Smoke Out this Thursday, November 21st," the PSA says. Several local radio stations including Hot 97, Kiss-FM, WQCD, ESPN, DISNEY, La Mega, WADO, AMOR, WCBS-AM, Z100, WKTU, Power 105, WABC, WINS, WLTW and WQXR are participating in this initiative.
Tips to Quit Smoking (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/smoke/tc10.html)
Choose and write down reasons your for quitting
Identify your smoking triggers
Identify your coping strategies
Select a quit date and prepare for that quit date
Prepare a list of support persons who can be called upon when in need
Educate yourself about withdrawal symptoms
For more information on how to quit smoking and available smoking cessation services in New York, call the New York Smokers' Quitline at 1-888-609-6292 or visit (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/smoke/smoke5.html). For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit the American Cancer Society's Web site at (http://www.cancer.org).