Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

October 27, 2015
Contact:  Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


If you can go one day without smoking, you're on the way to quitting for good!

NEW CITY, NY - -  Don't just think about quitting smoking, do it, even if it is just for one day. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to use the Great American Smokeout, November 19th, as the day you commit to quit.

"Take an important step towards a healthier future by choosing this day to be smoke-free.  You can more than double your chances of being successful at quitting by using nicotine replacement products, such as the patch, gum or lozenge, along with a behavior change program like the Health Department's Put It Out Rockland Quit Smoking Program," said Dr. Ruppert.

Follow these simple steps to prepare to quit on November 19th for the Great American Smokeout:

  1. Call the New York State Smokers' Quitline (1-866-697-8487) to order your free two-week supply of  nicotine replacement patches and visit for quitting assistance or to get "quit-tips" sent 24/7 to your smart phone.
  2. Track your smoking and look at what makes you light up. Write down what's going on right before you light up, note your mood and how badly you want that cigarette.  You will see that some cigarettes mean more to you than others.  Choose not to smoke the ones that you really don't need by waiting five minutes.  Chew a piece of gum or eat a piece of fruit instead.
  3. Make your quit plan: Once you have identified what you associate with smoking or your smoking triggers, such as drinking coffee, driving, drinking alcohol, or feeling stressed – make a plan to change.  For example, drink tea instead of coffee, clean your car so it smells good, empty your ash tray and add an air freshener.  Choose not to drink alcohol and choose not to be around people who do smoke and drink.  Plan to replace your smoking time with fun activities like reading, talking to a friend, and taking a walk or doing another physical activity.
  4. Stock up on healthy snacks like water, juice, nuts, fruit, or vegetables like carrot sticks and celery, or have low fat yogurt instead of your cigarette.  Substitute sugarless mints, gum or cinnamon sticks when you feel like lighting up.

Once you get your patches from the New York State Smokers' Quitline and make a quit plan you are ready to quit on November 19th.  "On the evening before your quit day, gather up all your cigarettes, wet them down under the faucet of the sink and throw them away.  When you wake up in the morning, put on one of your patches and start your quit plan. Just remember, you should not smoke while wearing the patch," said Maryanne Ferrara, Quit Smoking Specialist at the Rockland County Department of Health.

The Health Department's Put It Out Rockland low cost quit smoking program can help you continue on your smoke-free journey.  We offer a combination of support, behavior modification (helping you develop new healthy habits), and nicotine replacement products which can double your success at quitting smoking. The program is available to any one who lives, works, or attends school in Rockland County.  For more information call (845) 364-2651 or visit