Program to stop lighting up in NYC gets cold reception

THE BRONX - Smokers in the Bronx and the rest of the city aren't warming up to a program designed to help them kick the habit.Since 2003, the city has sponsored a free three-week nicotine replacement therapy program. The Health Department stocks up on nicotine patches and gum for about 60,000 would-be quitters, but the New York Post reports only 20,000 have signed up.Health officials are encouraging smokers to call 311 to sign up since the program ends Tuesday. They say the program can double the chances of successfully quitting smoking.The program targets all smokers, but officials specifically target men and smokers under 24 years old, the two groups most resistant to quitting. The city spends approximately $4 million a year on the program.

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