If you can go one day without smoking, you’re on the way to quitting for good!

NEW CITY, NY – – Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to use the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, Thursday, November 21st, as the day you commit to quitting smoking as well as using any other forms of tobacco products.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Any tobacco use whether smoked, smokeless, or electronic, is considered unsafe. “Take an important step towards a healthier future by choosing this day to be smoke-free for life! The Rockland County Health Department can help you develop new healthy habits through its low-cost quit smoking program called Put It Out Rockland. The program also offers nicotine replacement products, which can double your success at quitting smoking. Consider enrolling today!” said Dr. Ruppert.

Put it Out Rockland is available to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Rockland County. You can choose the one-on-one sessions where you meet with a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist three times over a 6-week period or a small group program that would be ideal at a worksite or community group. Groups meet four times over a 5-week period for 30-45 minutes each session.

The health department is now also offering Project EX, a school-based Youth Tobacco Cessation Program that is for both traditional smoking, use of e-cigarettes, and vaping products. This is a free program that can be implemented in middle and high schools in Rockland County.

Here are some simple steps to prepare to quit:

  1. Call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline(1-866-697-8487) to order your free two-week supply of nicotine replacement patches and visit nysmokefree.com/ for quitting assistance or to get “quit-tips” sent to your smartphone.
  2. Track your smoking:Write down what’s going on right before you light up, note your mood, and how badly you want that cigarette. You will see that some cigarettes mean more to you than others. Choose not to smoke the ones that you really don’t need by waiting five minutes. Chew a piece of gum or eat a piece of fruit instead.
  3. Make your quit plan:Once you have identified your smoking triggers, such as drinking coffee, driving, drinking alcohol, or feeling stressed – make a plan to change. For example, drink tea instead of coffee, clean your car so it smells good, empty your ashtray, and add an air freshener. Choose not to drink alcohol and choose not to be around people who smoke and drink. Plan to replace your smoking time with fun activities like reading, talking to a friend, taking a walk, or doing another physical activity.
  4. Stock up on healthy snackslike water, juice, nuts, fruit, low-fat yogurt, or vegetables like carrot sticks and celery to have instead of your cigarette. Substitute sugarless mints, gum or cinnamon sticks when you feel like lighting up.
  5. Throw away your cigarettes:On the evening before your quit day, gather up all your cigarettes, wet them down under the faucet of the sink and throw them away. When you wake up in the morning, put on one of your patches, and start your quit plan. Remember, you should not smoke while wearing the patch.

For more information about the Put It Out Rockland Tobacco Cessation Program and Project EX Youth Cessation Program, call the Health Department’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist at (845) 364-2651 or visit http://bit.ly/PutItOutRockland. For more information about the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout visit: http://bit.ly/ACSSmokeout.

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