The health department has launched a new campaign encouraging men to stop smoking.
Photo credit: NYC Department of Health

Men are nearly twice as likely to smoke as women and the city wants to change that. 

On Wednesday, the health department launched a new media campaign encouraging men to quit smoking.

While the city has made strides in reducing the number of New Yorkers who smoke, Acting Health Commission Dr. Oxiris Barbot admits that it had less success reaching men.

“Smoking is contributing to men dying younger than women, and I hope this media campaign will encourage more New York City men to quit smoking,” said Dr. Barbot.

Tobacco continues to be a leading cause of preventable, premature death in New York City, killing an estimated 12,000 people annually. While smoking rates in the city declined from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 13.4 percent in 2017, there are still almost 900,000 adult New Yorkers who smoke. 

Photo credit: NYC Department of Health

The newly announced campaign will run in newspapers as well as on TV, social media and public transportation. The health department also issued the following tips on how to make quitting easier:

  • Make a list of your reasons for quitting and read it often.
  • Pick a quit date that works for you and gives you time to prepare. Throw out all of your cigarettes beforehand and get rid of ashtrays and lighters.
  • Get support and encouragement. Tell your family, friends and coworkers that you are quitting and ask for their support.
  • Notice and avoid what triggers cravings. Alcohol, coffee, stress and being around others who smoke can all trigger cravings.

Additionally, New Yorkers who want to quit smoking can apply for free nicotinic patches and lozenges online at or by calling 1-866-NY-QUITS. Eligible candidates will receive a four-week supply of nicotine patches or lozenges, and a coaching guide.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who shared that his father was a chain smoker who didn’t quit until he ran into health issues, supports the new campaign.

“Men can’t wait until it’s too late,” said Adams. “Too many of our brothers, fathers and sons aren’t taking the steps to quit, and it’s important we remind them of all the available support.”


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