New York State Smokers’ Quitline offers support, free starter kit
Every day, thousands of New York State residents struggle to break the addiction of tobacco use. For most smokers, it takes several quit attempts before they can finally give up tobacco. The New York State Smokers’ Quitline reminds New Yorkers help is available, and support and medications will increase their chances for success. The Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16, a day when thousands of smokers across the country quit together, might be the perfect time to develop a quit-plan or begin a smoke-free life.
More than 2.2 million New York adults still smoke and more than 26,000 die as a result each year. In fact, more people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined.
Fortunately, the Smokers’ Quitline is available as a free resource for all New Yorkers seeking help. Quit Coaches at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487) can provide personalized coaching and support, as well as information about stop-smoking medications. Most callers also will qualify for a two-week starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches. The Quitline is available seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m., and additional resources are available online at www.nysmokefree.com. Smokers should also talk to their healthcare providers about quitting smoking and ask for a prescription for stop-smoking medications, which are covered by most health insurance plans.
One tip the Smokers’ Quitline offers—especially for the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout event on Nov. 16—is to remember the 5 D’s when trying to quit, particularly when cigarette cravings occur. They are as follows:
- Delay a minute or two and the urge will pass.
- Drink water to fight cravings.
- Do something else. Distract yourself… walk, call a friend, run errands.
- Deep breathe. It will relax you. Close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths.
- Discuss your thoughts and feelings with someone close to you.
The Smokers’ Quitline also reminds healthcare providers that resources are available online at www.nysmokefree.com. A series of office flyers to promote the Great American Smokeout can be downloaded for free and cover topics that potential quitters worry about: weight gain, added stress, loss of friends and loss of socialization. The website also provides details about the Opt-to-Quit referral program, which can assist healthcare providers in making it easier for their patients to quit smoking.
Quit Coaches are available seven days a week to discuss quit-options and provide additional tips to beat cravings. New Yorkers can call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
About Roswell Park Cancer Institute: The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs.