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If you smoke, quitting is an important step toward a healthier life and it reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Quitting smoking is hard, and most people try several times before they are able to quit for good. Keep trying – the sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal.

The Employee Smoking Cessation Assistance Program (ESCAPE) offers FREE quit-smoking and quit vaping support for all eligible City employees and members of their households, including:

  • Medications (nicotine patch, gum and lozenge, Zyban® (bupropion) and Chantix® (varenicline))
  • Confidential counseling provided by trained specialists in-person or by phone

How does ESCAPE work?

Find more information about ESCAPE.  Learn More


Making a decision to quit is the first and most important step in successfully quitting. Here is what will happen when you enroll with ESCAPE:

  • 1
  • You will talk with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist who will ask you questions about your smoking or vaping history and your health.
  • 2
  • Based on the information you provide, the Tobacco Treatment Specialist will make recommendations on the best approaches for quitting smoking or vaping and help you choose the best treatment.
  • 3
  • The recommendations may include no cost nicotine replacement therapies (nicotine patch, gum, and lozenge) and/or non-nicotine pharmacotherapy medications (Zyban® (bupropion), Chantix® (varenicline)) and/or counseling in-person or by phone.
  • 4
  • You will receive free information on quitting.

ESCAPE is a personalized and confidential service to meet your needs. “Confidential” means that we do not to reveal your participation in the program to anyone unless we have your permission.

How do you enroll in ESCAPE?

Find more information about enrolling in ESCAPE.  Learn More



Call to enroll in ESCAPE

Call us at 347-396-4403 to make an appointment.*

*If you get the ESCAPE voicemail, please leave a message with your name and phone number and an ESCAPE counselor will call you back within 2 days.

Visit to enroll in ESCAPE

Drop in to see us Wednesday from 11am - 5pm at:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention & Tobacco Control
42-09 28th Street, 11th Floor Queens, NY 11101

We are accessible by:



●  Bus: Q32, Q60

●  Train: Queensboro Plaza (7, N, W), Queens Plaza (E, M, R), Court Square (G), 21 St – Queensbridge (F)


Reasons to Quit

Quitting will save you money, improve your health, and protect your loved ones from secondhand smoke.  Learn More


Quitting smoking can help you:

Breathe more easily Have a better sense of taste
Save Money? Have more energy
Have an improved sense of smell Have fewer sick days
Have clearer skin Have better breath
Have whiter teeth Have a healthier and longer life



Find your reason to quit and keep it in mind when you’re craving a cigarette.


The HelpMeQuit app offers on-the-go motivation and support.  Learn More


The NYC Health Department's new mobile app, NYC HelpMeQuit, is a free resource to help you say goodbye to cigarettes.


HelpMeQuit can track and celebrate your progress, offer tips on how to outlast cravings, and connect you with other quitters for support. The app also helps you stay motivated with personal reasons why you should avoid smoking, and it can keep you distracted with games when that craving hits.

Download NYC HelpMeQuit for Android or iOS today!

What about vaping or e-cigarette use?

Information about vaping or e-cigarette use.  Learn More


E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid, called e-liquid, into an aerosol that the user can inhale. Although e-liquids do not contain tobacco, they contain chemicals, often including flavorings, and almost always contain nicotine, which is addictive.

The evidence for e-cigarettes as a tool to help adults quit smoking is limited. To date, no e-cigarettes have been approved by the FDA as smoking-cessation devices.

People trying to quit should use FDA-approved medications, including over-the-counter and prescription options, which are safe, effective, and available for FREE from ESCAPE.

For more information and resources about e-cigarettes, please visit the New York City Health Department e-cigarette webpage.


Information to help you manage cravings and quit for good.  Learn More