While adult smoking rates are at all-time lows, the fight isn’t over to promote tobacco-free living in New York State. This is one of several reasons the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health designated 2019 as the “Year of Cessation.” With support from the CDC’s “Tips” Campaign, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (Quitline), area healthcare professionals and Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free Western New York, Western New York residents have more resources than ever before to reduce or eliminate tobacco-use.
During the “Year of Cessation’s” summer months, the CDC highlights the integral role quitlines play in cessation and the 15th anniversary of the national network of state quitlines. Six new online videos demonstrate what callers can expect when calling a quitline and emphasize free, confidential and nonjudgmental coaching. These resources complement the ongoing Tips From Former Smokers® campaign, now in its eighth year.
“The ‘Tips’ Campaign creates a noticeable boost in call volume to the New York State Smokers’ Quitline,” said Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., director of the Quitline and professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. – the Quitline’s physical location. “The Year of Cessation is yet another valuable CDC initiative to help educate about the dangers of smoking and benefits of becoming tobacco-free. On a local level, New York State residents should know that besides the CDC and the Quitline, their healthcare professionals and regional tobacco-free organizations play a major role in these efforts.”
Most people who call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com are eligible for a complimentary starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy, including patches and gum or lozenges. The Quitline’s Quit Coaches will work with tobacco users to develop a customized quit-plan and steps to overcome triggers. The Quitline also encourages tobacco users to talk with their healthcare professionals and access their health plan benefits for additional cessation support and stop-smoking medications.
Locally, as part of Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free Western New York works directly with area healthcare professionals and organizations to develop appropriate screening for tobacco-use and to improve the reach and delivery of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. More information about the regional contractors with Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York is available online by visiting www.tobaccofreeny.org.
“We’re proud to support the CDC’s ‘Year of Cessation’ and the Quitline, and remind all Western New York tobacco users that quitting is the very best thing they can do to improve their health and quality of life,” said Kimberly Bank, program coordinator for Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free Western New York. “Tobacco users should always talk with their doctor or healthcare provider and call the Quitline for extra support.”
About the New York State Smokers’ Quitline
The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to more than 2.5 million calls since its inception in 1999. The Quitline encourages tobacco users to talk with their healthcare professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York State residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.
About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@roswellpark.org.