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Health Department Kicks Off Giveaway Campaign To Help New Yorkers Quit Smoking

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A woman smokes in a Times Square pedestrian island on September 16, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A woman smokes in a Times Square pedestrian island on September 16, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city is looking to help New Yorkers quit smoking.

The health department will be giving away nicotine patches and gum through March 16.

“Last year we provided patches and gum to over 39,000 New York City smokers and we anticipate surveying around 40,000 New York City smokers this year,” Jenna Mandel-Recci, Deputy Director For Tobacco Control, told 1010 WINS.

New Yorkers looking to kick the habit can call 311 or apply online for patches and gum at no cost.

“The reason that we do this is we know most smokers want to quit smoking and it doubles their chances of quitting successfully if they use products like nicotine patches and gum,” Mandel-Recci said.

The department is also launching a new ad campaign encouraging the public to quit smoking.

The ads — which will run on television, online and in local newspapers — include graphic images of esophageal, pancreatic, and stomach cancers – which are most commonly caused by smoking.

The health department said the adult smoking rate in New York City is at an all-time low of 14 percent; however, an estimated 850,000 New Yorkers still smoke.

Has the city helped you quit smoking? Let us know below…

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