Commit 2 Quit

Tobacco Use in Washington County

Getting people to quit tobacco and e-cigarettes is very important to Washington County Public Health.  

Washington County currently has one of the highest smoking rates in New York State, with 25.1% of adults being current smokers. 

Tobacco and nicotine products are known to be bad for health. Chemicals in tobacco are responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths and about 90% of all lung cancer deaths. 

Tobacco and nicotine usage also causes some of the most common causes of death in New York, such as heart disease, strokes, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

In order to fight the problems tobacco and e-cigarettes usage causes, Washington County Public Health created Commit 2 Quit.

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Commit 2 Quit Brochure Cover

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Commit 2 quit flyer

Commit 2 Quit

Are you, or someone you know, thinking about quitting tobacco or nicotine products? Washington County Public Health's Commit 2 Quit program can help! 

This new program will help Washington County residents cut down or stop using tobacco and nicotine products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes (also known as vapes or Juul). 

Commit 2 Quit will give participants the education, tools, and support they need to quit tobacco and nicotine products. This includes giving information on medication options, finding ways to control urges and withdrawal symptoms, and offering a space to discuss the highs and lows of quitting tobacco and nicotine. One-On-One Coaching is available. 

For questions or to sign up for one-on-one coaching, please call (518) 746-2416 or email [email protected].

People who use medication and coaching are twice as likely to finally quit tobacco and nicotine products than those who attempt without support.  Our Nicotine Cessation Specialist can help answer questions about medications and if they are right for you. 

Check out or Brochure for more details: 

Commit 2 Quit Brochure

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. 90% of lung cancer deaths are tobacco related. You may qualify for a lung cancer screening if you are:

  • Aged 50-80 years old
  • Have a 20 pack-year history
  • And currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years

For more information about lung cancer screenings and to find out if you qualify visit:

American Lung Association

What you can save by quitting

A pack of cigarettes costs about $12 in New York. If you quit smoking a pack a day now, you could save almost $4,500 a year. To find out exactly how much you will save by quitting, visit:


How smoking affects your body

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, causing almost 500,000 deaths every year. The dangers of smoking can happen even if a person only smokes a few cigarettes a day.

Smoking is a major cause of cancer, leading to cancers throughout the body, as seen in the image below.

  • A person who smokes has a 25 times higher chance of developing lung cancer than a non-smoker.
  • Smoking can make cancer treatment less effective.
  • If nobody smoked, 1 in 3 cancer deaths would not happen.

Smoking Cancer infographic-2020

Smoking doubles the risk of developing coronary heart disease and strokes and leads to an increase in blood pressure and a faster heartbeat. Cigarette smoking causes 80% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Smoking cigarettes can affect fertility. In men, smoking can affect men’s sperm, reducing fertility and increasing risks of birth defects and miscarriage. In women, smoking has been linked with:

  • increased difficulty getting pregnant
  • early birth, stillbirth
  • low birthweight
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • cleft lips

In addition to all the health effects listed above, smoking cigarettes can make bones weaker, cause tooth loss and other gum and tooth diseases, increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, causes type 2 diabetes, makes the immune system weaker, and can cause arthritis.

Smoking cigarettes can also affect the health of those that do not smoke. Children living with a person who smokes are at a greater risk of developing asthma, ear infections, and respiratory infections. Secondhand smoke leads to the deaths of about 40,000 people each year from heart disease and lung cancer.

For more information about how smoking affects your health, and the health of your loved ones visit:

How smokeless tobacco affects your body

Although the dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes are not inhaled when using smokeless tobacco, it is still very dangerous and can lead to many health problems. Smokeless tobacco is known to cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas and can cause white or gray patches inside the mouth known as leukplakia that can lead to cancer. In addition, smokeless tobacco can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss and increases your risk of death from heart disease and stroke. Using smokeless tobacco during pregnancy can increase the risk of early delivery or stillbirth.

For more information about the health effects of smokeless tobacco visit:


How e-cigarettes affect your body

Most e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, but they still contain nicotine and dangerous chemicals. E-cigarette aerosol, the vapor that users breathe in and exhale, contains all of the harmful substances in the image below:


While e-cigarettes contain fewer harmful substances than cigarettes, that does not make them safe to use. E-cigarettes are still new, so the long-term health effects of them are not well known, but it is known that e-cigarettes can do all the following:

  • Harm developing fetuses
  • Harm youth and young adult brain development
  • Deliver cancer causing chemicals deep into the lungs

In addition, e-cigarette batteries have been known to cause fires that can cause harm to your body and property.

In 2019, a condition known as EVALI (E-cigarette, or Vaping Product, Use Associated Lung Injury) caused 2,807 hospitalizations and 68 deaths. The condition was linked to the use of e-cigarettes that contained Vitamin E acetate, a chemical that is added to some THC- containing e-cigarettes. Symptoms of EVALI are respiratory problems, such as cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, as well as gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

For more information about how e-cigarettes affect your health visit:

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