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Prev Med. 2010 May-Jun;50(5-6):288-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Using geographic information system analyses to monitor large-scale distribution of nicotine replacement therapy in New York City.

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  • 1Bureau of Tobacco Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10007, USA.



Since 2003, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has distributed nicotine replacement therapy nicotine replacement therapy to adult smokers through annual large-scale distribution programs.


In 2008, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene formally integrated geographic information system analyses to track program enrollment, map the geographic density of enrollees, and assess the effects of outreach strategies.


Geographic information system analyses provided a unique, near real-time visual method of assessing participation patterns as well as the impact of media and outreach strategies. Among neighborhoods with high smoking prevalence, lower income neighborhoods had higher enrollment compared to higher income neighborhoods. Mapping before and after a press release demonstrated that program interest increased over 700% in one area.


Although geographic information system analysis is traditionally utilized for large-scale infectious disease surveillance, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene used GIS to inform and improve an annual large-scale smoking cessation program. These analyses provide unique feedback that can aid public health program planners in improving efficiency and efficacy of service delivery.

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