New York City's new campaign to help smokers quit reminds them of the damage to their bodies and how quickly it is possible to heal.
The ad campaign by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration was announced Wednesday. It will feature ads on subways and bus shelters, and television and radio spots.
The ads feature graphic images of smoking-related problems, like tumors.
They also use little-known facts to encourage quitting.
For instance: Eight hours after a person quits smoking, his blood oxygen level returns to normal.
Three months after quitting, lung function improves by up to 30 percent. One year after you quit smoking, your risk of heart attack is cut in half. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker and your risk of heart disease is that of a person who never smoked.
The city also wants to remind smokers that it's giving away patches and gum to help people quit -- for the next 16 days only. Smokers may apply by calling 311 or visiting NYC.Gov.
“This year, cigarettes will kill more than 7,500 New Yorkers,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “Thousands more will suffer smoking-induced strokes, heart attacks, debilitating lung diseases and cancers. Now is the time to start reversing the damage. We urge all New Yorkers who smoke to quit now. If they need help quitting, they should call 311 or enroll online today.”