New York State smoking rates are declining overall but remain high for some, such as Black and Latino persons, and persons with mental health concerns. Vaping rates are increasing, and the U.S. Surgeon General declared teen vaping a national epidemic. Evidence shows quitting smoking and vaping for good helps protect from damage to the lungs, the cardiovascular system, and to developing brains.

The Great American Smoke Out on Nov. 18 is a great time to quit, even if just for one day. Quitting smoking for 24 hours teaches you about triggers and withdrawal symptoms and can actually double your chances of quitting for good in the future. People in our region have access to many free resources to help them quit for good.f

To stop smoking or vaping, contact your doctor and the NYS Smokers’ Quitline at 1 (866) 697-8487 and at nysmokefree.com.

Dr. Donna Pratt

Preventive Medicine Residen, URMC Department of Public Health Sciences

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