The city wants to help New Yorkers kick their cigarette habit. Credit: Getty Images
The city's health department wants to help residents kick their cigarette habit with free nicotine patches and gum this month.
New Yorkers can apply with the annual program through April 1, the department said Tuesday.
The same program has helped nearly 300,000 New Yorkers quit smoking since launching in 2006.
Though smoking rates have declined, by about 6 percent between 2002 and 2012, almost 1 million adults still smoke citywide. The department said smoking is still a leading cause of preventable death in the city.
"There are many reasons to quit smoking that benefit the health of both yourself and your loved ones," Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement. "We know that most smokers want to quit, and there is no better time to start than now."
Depending on daily smoking habits, eligible applicants to the program will receive up to a four-week supply of patches and gum. Enrollees will also receive follow-up calls from the New York State Smokers Quitline.
To apply for the free nicotine patches and gum, call 311 or visit nysmokefree.com.