• NY Quitline participants throughout the state share their stories of successful quitting
  • 77-year-old Herman L. of Buffalo quit menthol cigarettes with Learn2QuitNY texting program
  • Free, proven, effective resources available for all those seeking a return to smoke-free living

With support of free services from New York State Smokers’ Quitline, 77-year-old
Buffalo resident quit menthol cigarettes using Learn2QuitNY texting program

Jan. 2, 2024 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – The start of the New Year is always a popular time for those thinking about quitting commercial tobacco* or vape products to make a quit-attempt. Most adults who smoke or vape want to quit, and it is not unusual for people to make multiple attempts before achieving lasting success. For those living in Western New York and other parts of New York State seeking to become smoke-free, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (NY Quitline) and Herman L. (pictured at left) offer inspiration for life-improving changes in 2024 and healthier years to follow.

Herman first tried tobacco products during his 20’s and smoked menthol cigarettes regularly for 50 years. While he considered himself a light smoker, he felt reliant upon menthol cigarettes for activities such as phone calls and social gatherings. Into his 70’s, Herman developed diabetes and high blood pressure. After learning more about the harms of smoking through the CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers™ ads on television, he decided to call the NY Quitline for additional support.

“I worked through the NY Quitline a number of times in recent years and kept learning more techniques to be successful,” Herman said. “Their new texting program [Learn2QuitNY] was an ultimate help for me. The texts reminded me to keep trying, even if I had a slip-up.”

Herman enjoyed Learn2QuitNY’s engaging question-and-answer texts, such as, “How can you avoid the temptation of smoking?” The regular daily updates helped him identify his triggers and feel like he wasn’t going through a quit-journey alone.

“I think the perceived ‘enjoyment’ of smoking must be weighed against the consequences,” said Herman. “For anyone thinking about quitting, stick with your goal and don’t get discouraged if there are setbacks along the way.”

At age 77, Herman finds himself jogging and exercising more. He says he can breathe better, no longer smells like smoke and saves more money ever since he stopped smoking in May 2023.

“I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment,” Herman said. “I’m quit for good; I now have a mindset that I’m forever smoke-free.”

The NY Quitline advocates all those trying to quit smoking and/or vaping to use its free services, speak with their healthcare professionals and access available support through healthcare insurance. For those in Western New York, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free Western New York can also recommend local and online cessation group classes.

The NY Quitline encourages all those living in New York State to make 2024 smoke-free by calling 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), texting QUITNOW to 333888 or visiting nysmokefree.com. Participants can connect with a specialist through an online chat, request a call-back, order free nicotine replacement therapy medications and register for the six-week Learn2QuitNYtext messaging program. If a slip-up happens along the journey, stay positive and try, try again. Cheers to the best year yet in 2024!

* The term tobacco throughout this press release refers to the use of manufactured, combustible commercial products and vape products – not the sacred, medicinal and traditional use of tobacco by Native American nations and other indigenous groups.