The price of Major League Baseball Season tickets…$2,025. A quarter- carat diamond engagement ring…$2,799. A ten-day Caribbean cruise…$1,750. For the 1 million New Yorkers who still smoke, these things could be theirs – if they quit. Beginning June 3rd, a pack of cigarettes will cost more than $8, adding up to almost $3,000 a year for the pack-a-day smoker, and making New York City cigarettes the most expensive in the country. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has proclaimed June 3rd as “NYC Quits Day.” And starting this week, the Health Department will launch television and radio ads, special events, and nicotine patch giveaways to urge New
Yorkers to quit June 3rd. The campaign shows New Yorkers what they are giving up to smoke – from shopping sprees and plasma TVs to day care and health insurance.
New Yorkers can visit http://www.nyc.gov/quitjune3 for more information or call 311 for help to quit (you can start with the tips below).
“Smoking is costing you your health,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden New York City, Health Commissioner for New York City. “But if you need an extra push to quit, you should know that smoking will now also cost you
almost $3,000 a year. If you quit, the savings could buy you a bigger apartment, a summer vacation, or, over time, your child’s college education.”
Increasing the price of cigarettes has proven to be the most effective way of motivating New Yorkers to quit. Tax increases in 2002 spurred a 21% drop in adult smoking and a 52% drop in smoking among New York City public high school students as the Mayor announced earlier this year. The new state tax increase of $1.25 is expected to cut the number of smokers significantly and save tens of thousands of lives.
Five Tips to Make Quitting Easier:
1. Prepare yourself. Make a list of the reasons for quitting and plan for situations that tempt you to smoke.
2. Pick a “quit date.” Get rid of ashtrays and lighters, and all cigarettes.
3. Make your (life) home and car smoke-free. It is healthier for others and will help you resist smoking.
4. Get encouragement. Tell your family and friends that you are quitting and ask for their support.
5. Find a “quit buddy.” Ask a smoker to quit with you or find someone who has already quit for support.
The Health Department and its partners are offering nicotine replacement therapy at no cost on June 3rd. Events are scheduled at locations throughout the five boroughs.