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In Recognition of the Great American Smokeout, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Launches New Smoking Cessation Program

The program will provide treatment and support for patients who want to quit smoking

In NYC, 11.9% of residents -- 775,000 adults – smoke; 18% of East Harlem residents smoke

Nov 18, 2021

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan today celebrated the Great American Smokeout with the launch of a new smoking cessation program that will serve patients and community members who want to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout is an annual intervention event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The event challenges people to quit on that day, or use the day to make a plan to quit. The new smoking cessation program will be available immediately to patients aged 18 and older who are considering quitting smoking. Patients can be referred from any of the hospital’s primary and specialty care services. Referrals from community providers will be accepted in the new year.

“Our pulmonary and critical care teams have been at the forefront of responding to some of our most vulnerable patients with respiratory illnesses,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan CEO Cristina Contreras. “The addition of the smoking cessation program expands our ability to help our patients take control of their health.”

“At Metropolitan, each patient will be seen by a pulmonologist and a pharmacist in their initial visit to create a personalized plan for effective treatment that may include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), counseling services, and other available resources,” said Natoushka Trenard, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “Our program offers evidence-based interventions, including pharmacologic therapy and behavioral support. The combination produces higher smoking quit rates than either type of treatment alone.”

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., and it causes lung cancer, emphysema, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Smoking cessation has the greatest capacity to reduce lung disease, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Metropolitan was recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “high performing” in COPD care.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. Some groups smoke more heavily or at higher rates and suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases. These populations tend to be those who experience inequities in multiple areas of their lives, including those at lower socioeconomic levels, those without college degrees, Black communities, LGBTQ communities, those with behavioral health conditions, and others.

For more information about smoking cessation programs in the public hospital system, https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/services/quitting-smoking/.


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