State Health Department Launches New Campaign Urging Health Care Providers to Treat Nicotine Addiction

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 8, 2016) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) today announced the launch of the "Treat Nicotine Addiction Campaign," to urge health care providers to reframe smoking as an addiction to nicotine, rather than a bad habit, and to treat nicotine addiction with counseling and medication.

"New York's smoking rate is at an historic low, but 2.1 million adults are still smoking," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "Health care providers can play a critical role in helping New Yorkers overcome nicotine addiction by reinforcing a recommendation to quit smoking with medication and counseling. This new campaign will serve as a reminder for them to do just that."

The "Treat Nicotine Addiction Campaign" asks health care providers to combine the strength of their recommendations with the two best proven methods – medication and counseling – to help further reduce smoking rates in New York State.

Research shows that half of all smokers who try to quit are motivated by their provider's recommendation. Patients who are encouraged to quit and begin medication are two to three times more likely to remain smoke-free (

Currently, there are seven U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pharmacotherapies for tobacco addiction --five nicotine replacement therapies (gum, patch, lozenge, inhaler, and nasal spray) and two medications Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Chantix (varenicline).

The multimedia campaign for health care providers will run on social media and medical websites, and drive health care providers to a website that offers easy-to-access information and resources to assist health care providers with supporting their patients who want to quit smoking.

The Treat Nicotine Addiction Campaign will run through June 2016 and is funded largely by a two-year, $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.