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Starting this October, a sign to quit smoking


Thu, Sep 28th 2023 09:10 pm

Submitted by the New York State Smokers' Quitline

For New York state residents who use commercial tobacco products and need a sign to quit, tobacco retail stores will soon offer just that – literally. Under a federal court order beginning Oct. 1, and continuing through June 30, 2025, approximately 200,000 tobacco retail stores throughout the nation must post signs with "corrective statements" near point-of-sale commercial tobacco products. These signs include messages about the health effects and addictiveness of smoking, with some of the 17 varieties describing the challenges of quitting. As New York state residents see these signs and contemplate making a quit attempt, they can contact the New York State Smokers' Quitline (NY Quitline) for free and confidential support.

Image courtesy of the New York State Smokers' Quitline


"These signs are the culmination of a yearslong lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department on major tobacco retailers," said Dr. Andrew Hyland, director of the NY Quitline and chair of health behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. "For anyone who sees the messages and gains motivation to make a quit attempt, contact the NY Quitline. Our skilled and caring specialists are available by phone, by text and online to provide support every step of the way."

While some of the corrective statements focus on the challenges of quitting, others describe the efforts by tobacco companies to intentionally create highly addictive products and to mislead the public about harms. A few also describe the effects of secondhand smoke on children and adults.

"These messages are an important tool to encourage those who use tobacco products to reconsider the consequences to themselves and those around them," Hyland said. "Just as the one sign reads, it's not easy to quit. Nevertheless, thousands of New Yorkers quit every year for a variety of reasons – and often with the assistance of the NY Quitline. We offer a variety of free tools to help them greatly improve their health and achieve lasting success."

Trained tobacco treatment specialists at the NY Quitline provide quit coaching and access to free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) medications via phone at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). In addition, at nysmokefree.com, participants can connect with a specialist through an online chat, request a call-back, order free NRT medications, and register for the six-week Learn2QuitNY text messaging program.

Together with the recent tax increase on cigarettes and little cigars, the NY Quitline hopes the new corrective statements at tobacco retail stores will be another "sign" for people to decide to quit and to act on their decision. Specialists at the NY Quitline remain ready seven days a week to help all New York state residents permanently say goodbye to harmful tobacco products.

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