Free Nicotine Patch Program

An Effective Practice

This practice has been Archived and is no longer maintained.


The Free Nicotine Patch Program was developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to encourage and assist tobacco cessation. Tobacco use is still the most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Annually 440,000 deaths and $157 billion dollars in health-related costs can be attributed to smoking. In New York City, one New Yorker dies every hour from a smoking related illness and annually 1000 residents die from second hand smoke exposure. Through this program, participants received a six-week supply of NRT (two-weeks each of generic 21mg, 14mg and 7mg patches), a patch use instruction sheet, patient information from the NRT manufacturer, smoking cessation tips and other cessation resources available in New York City.

Goal / Mission

The program was designed to direct-mail a free, six-week course of nicotine treatment to eligible callers, thereby increasing access and reducing cost to people who wanted to stop smoking and improve their health.

Results / Accomplishments

The program reached 34,090 New York City residents. A six-month outcome evaluation of the program showed that more than 87% of participants reported a quit attempt after enrolling and 33% reported quitting smoking for 7 days or longer compared to 6% who did not receive the intervention. Participants who received one or more counseling calls were about one-third more likely to quit than those who received no counseling calls.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Rashed Abedin, Acting Assistant Commissioner
(212) 676-2140
Health / Substance Abuse
Health / Environmental & Occupational Health
Health / Mortality Data
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
New York, NY
For more details
Additional Audience