NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) — A New York City TV campaign on the health consequences of “light” smoking — 10 or fewer cigarettes per day — is scheduled to begin next week, officials say.
Officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it was the department’s first effort to target light smokers with information on the dangerous health effects of even light or casual smoking.
“One Cigarette Is One Too Many,” contrasts people defending their light smoking with the well-documented health effects from light smoking.
“Even if you don’t think of yourself as a smoker, when you smoke even one cigarette a day, you are putting yourself at risk for many serious and potentially fatal health problems,” Dr. Thomas Farley, commissioner of health, said in a statement. “Quitting smoking for good can decrease your risk for heart disease and cancer and give you the best shot at living a long, healthy life. Help is available. Call 311 or go on-line to get free gum or patches today.”
To coincide with the campaign, the health department will offer nicotine gum until Jan. 15, 2012, to eligible smokers who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, to help them quit through 311 and online via nycquits at nyc.gov.
Light smokers make up 34 percent of all New York City’s daily smokers. Heavier smokers who are interested in nicotine replacement therapy can call 311 or 1-866-NYQUITS year round for help with quitting.