ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Great American SmokeOut falls on the third Thursday of November every year and encourages smokers to go one day without cigarettes. St. Peter’s Health Partners is offering programs to help New York’s two million smokers quit.

Erin Sinisgalli, director of SPHP’s Community Health Programs, says giving up smoking is a journey and it can be hard, but those who are successful quitting for just one day are 10 times more successful in quitting long term. She says it’s never too late to quit. The sooner you do, the more you can reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve smoked for five years or if you smoked for 50, when you quit your body instantly starts to heal. Immediately your blood pressure starts to decrease, your heart rate starts to decrease, your lung capacity starts to improve. We don’t know how your body is going to respond or what damage has already been done but you can stop it right then and there,” said Sinisalli. 

St. Peter’s Health Partners is offering two free 30-minute virtual sessions on The Great American SmokeOut. One is at 9 a.m. and the other’s at noon with tips on quitting. If you’re waiting for the New Year, their “The Butt Stops Here” program starts in January.  

You can also call the New York state smokers quitline, (866)-NY-QUITS, for help and access to free nicotine patches and gum.