Health Topics & Information

Smoking & Vaping Cessation

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. Smoking causes cancer, breathing problems, heart attacks and stroke. Smoking can also affect others around you whether it is tobacco or the use of vaping products. Quitting smoking is critical to your overall health. When you quit, you will start to feel better immediately.


Some of the benefits include:

  • Breathing easier
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased sense of smell and taste

There are many ways to quit smoking. Some people stop “cold turkey.” Others benefit from step-by-step manuals, counseling or medicines or products that help reduce nicotine addiction. Your health care provider (ie. your doctor, physician assistant, nurse, medical assistant, social worker) can help you find the best way for you to quit. Many people try several times before succeeding so don’t get discouraged. When you quit smoking, you will benefit from a healthier body and greatly increase your chances of a longer life. According to several studies after 5-15 years of quitting smoking, the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease return to levels of those who have never smoked.

MetroPlus Health Plan covers benefits for vaping or smoking cessation.  These benefits include nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), cessation medications, and counseling.  Talk to your doctor about which treatment is best for you.

Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).” Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive and toxic to the body. Nicotine exposure can also harm adolescent brain development. E-cigarette contains chemicals that are harmful to the lungs.

There have been several cases of e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury and, in some cases, deaths. We recommend that you avoid the use of e-cigarette, or vaping products particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e. g. friends, family members, illicit dealers.

If you are an adult using e-cigarettes, or vaping products, to quit smoking, do not return to smoking cigarettes. Adults addicted to using e-cigarettes should weigh all risks and benefits and consider utilizing approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs).

If you continue to use an e-cigarette, or vaping product, carefully monitor yourself for symptoms and see a healthcare provider immediately if you develop symptoms such as: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, or weight loss.

E-cigarette, or vaping, products should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. There is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk.

For FREE nicotine patches or lozenges, please call 311 or 1-866-697-8487.

Helpful Resources:

Stop Smoking for Good
NYC Health Smoking Cessation Programs
Guide to Smoking Cessation Programs in New York City
Myths and Facts about Smoking/Vaping Cessation Medication
last updated: April 26, 2022

Ready to Join Us?

Talk to us about questions or concerns

Monday–Saturday | 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (ET)
Sunday | 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (ET)

Already A Member?

Talk to us about any questions or concerns

Monday–Saturday | 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (ET)
Sunday | 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (ET)

Speak To Someone In Your Community

Find someone in your neighborhood and in your language