In New York City, 867,000 adults and 15,000 adolescents use tobacco products; tobacco use is a leading contributor to premature, preventable death, killing an estimated 12,000 New Yorkers annually
Mayor de Blasio recently signed several bills into law to help reduce the number of adult smokers in New York City to a historically low rate of 12 percent by 2020
January 18, 2018 — The Health Department today launched the NYC HelpMeQuit app, a free tool to help New Yorkers quit smoking. Developed with input from smokers trying to quit, HelpMeQuit includes tips to stop cravings; social support from other people using HelpMeQuit and Facebook friends; connection to existing smoking cessation resources (such as the New York State Smokers Quitline and a map of nearby clinics); and in-app games to distract from smoking. The app helps New Yorkers track their progress through money saved by not purchasing cigarettes; cigarettes not smoked; badges earned for reaching milestones; and time — down to the hour — since they quit smoking. The app is available at the Apple or Google Play stores. A citywide media campaign about the app launched on TV, social media, subways, and the Staten Island Ferry. The video campaign is available here.
“Quitting smoking is hard, but HelpMeQuit is here to make it easier,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The app helps smokers stay motivated to quit and reminds New Yorkers of the important health and financial milestones along the way. As a former smoker, I know personally how difficult it is to quit. I’m confident this new resource will help New Yorkers live smoke free.”
“As a physician, I know every smoker’s journey to quitting can be different, but the challenge of quitting is universal,” said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Sonia Angell. “This unique tool is based on the evidence about what helps people quit. Quitting has almost immediate positive impact on your health. The NYC HelpMeQuit app is a great resource to help New Yorkers quit smoking.”
In August 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed several bills into law to reduce tobacco use, including raising the minimum prices for all tobacco products; capping and reducing through attrition the number of tobacco retailers citywide; creating a retail license for e-cigarettes and capping the number of e-cigarette retailers; and banning the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.
Features of the NYC HelpMeQuit app:
In New York City, 867,000 adults (13.1 percent) and 15,000 adolescents (5.8 percent) use tobacco products. Tobacco use is a leading contributor to premature, preventable death in New York City, killing an estimated 12,000 people annually, and its use impacts the quality of life for thousands more. Tobacco use can cause vascular disease, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and more than 10 types of cancer.
“Smoking is scientifically proven to cause long-term problems such as asthma, emphysema, and lung cancer,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I commend Health Commissioner Bassett for combating this public health challenge in a tech-forward manner through HelpMeQuit. I hope this innovative, hands-on approach will encourage Brooklynites to quit smoking.”
“We all know the health risk associated with smoking, but for many New Yorkers it is a challenge to quit,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I commend the New York City Department of Health for launching the NYC HelpMeQuit app in an effort to provide New Yorkers with easy access to resources, support and encouragement as they work to lead a healthier life.”
Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
For more information on how to quit:
MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Stephanie Buhle: (347) 396-4177,