Military Personnel Encouraged to Take Advantage of Free Smokers' Quitline

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BUFFALO, NY — In honor of Veterans Day, November 11, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline is urging soldiers to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. New York State military personnel who need help fighting their tobacco addiction can call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or click to quit at http://www.nysmokefree.com.

The prevalence of smoking is estimated to be as much as 40 percent higher in veterans than in the general population, according to a Society of General Internal Medicine report. Additionally, the military smoking rate increased from 29 percent in 1998 to 34 percent before 2002, reports the American Journal of Public Health, and “the prevalence of smoking among veterans returning from recent wars is similar to that of the U.S. adult population during the late 1960s.”

More than 1.3 million calls have been made to the New York State Smokers’ Quitline since its inception in January 2000. The Quitline, based at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), is a free resource for New York State residents and offers smoking cessation services tailored to the caller’s schedule and needs, including:

  • A free starter kit of nicotine patches or gum for eligible smokers
  • Trained Quitline Coaches offering help with quit plans.
  • Free online smokefree community and information (www.nysmokefree.com)
  • Information about local stop-smoking programs
  • Motivational taped messages

“The New York State Smokers’ Quitline provides free coaching and medication to help smokers break free from tobacco,” said K. Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at RPCI. “These are two key elements that increase the odds of success when it comes to quitting smoking or chewing tobacco.”

New Yorkers can call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). Call hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. During the hours that the Quitline is closed, taped messages offer support and help for quitting smoking. The online Smokers’ Quitsite (www.nysmokefree.com) is available 24 hours a day and offers a free coaching and tailored quit plan, tips for quitting, daily tips, and free nicotine replacement therapy to eligible New Yorkers.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was 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. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org