Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

November 3, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, 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! Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to use the Great American Smokeout, November 16th, 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 16th 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 to your smart phone.
  2. Track your smoking: 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 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 smoke and drink. Plan to replace your smoking time with fun activities like reading, talking to a friend, taking a walk, or doing another physical activity.
  4. Stock up on healthy snacks like water, juice, nuts, fruit, low-fat yogurt, or vegetables like carrot sticks and celery to have instead of your cigarette. Substitute sugarless mints, gum or cinnamon sticks when you feel like lighting up.
  5. Throw away your cigarettes: 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. Remember, you should not smoke while wearing the patch.

The Health Department's Put It Out Rockland low-cost quit smoking program can help you continue 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 anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Rockland County. For more information call the Health Department's Tobacco Cessation Specialist at (845) 364-2651 or visit