NEW YORK, May 25 (UPI) — During a 16-day period this year, the New York City health department enrolled more than 40,000 smokers for free nicotine patches and gum, officials said.
The smoking cessation program, which began in 2003, exceeded last year’s enrollment of 28,000 smokers.
“Although most New York City smokers have already quit, smoking remains the city’s biggest health problem,” Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, said in a statement.
“Cigarettes kill more than 7,500 New Yorkers every year, and thousands more suffer smoking-induced strokes, heart attacks, lung diseases and cancers.”
On average, smokers die 14 years earlier than non-smokers — often after years of progressive illness, Farley said.
To help smokers quit, Farley advises to:
– Set a date to quit and mark it on a calendar and throw away ashtrays, lighters and cigarettes.
– Visit your doctor for advice.
– Make a list of why you want to quit.
– Make a list of family and friends who will support you.
– Avoid smoking triggers such as alcohol, caffeine and being with other smokers.
– Take a 30-minute walk at least four days a week.
– Consider nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges, which can double the odds of quitting.
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