Declare Your Independence and Stop Smoking for Good This Fourth of July

LA County Residents Can Visit Their Local Ralphs Pharmacy for Free Nicotine Patches or Gum, While Supplies Last

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - July 2, 2009) - This Independence Day, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in conjunction with Ralphs and L.A. Care Health Plan, is helping LA County residents declare their freedom from smoking by giving away free two-week starter kits of nicotine patches or gum. The quit smoking aids are free to residents of LA County at 47 participating Ralphs Pharmacies throughout the county between the hours of 1 p.m. - 8 p.m., while supplies last.

"This summer is the perfect time for LA County residents to stop smoking, get healthy and save money during these tough economic times," said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Health Officer. "By offering free nicotine patches and gum, we hope to help LA County residents kick their addiction to cigarettes for good."

Participants must be LA County residents who are 18 years of age or older. They should be prepared to present a valid form of identification and will be screened for eligibility to ensure that the nicotine replacement therapy will not conflict with any pre-existing health conditions.

For more information and a map of participating Ralphs Pharmacies, visit will be updated daily with information on the availability of the free nicotine patches and gum at the Ralphs Pharmacies. Tips on how to quit and other information can be found on the LA Quits Facebook page and Twitter feed.

About the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit:

About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of programs including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, L.A. Care's Healthy Kids, and L.A. Care's Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With nearly 800,000 members, L.A. Care is the nation's largest public health plan and has been awarded an Excellent Accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. To learn more, visit L.A. Care Health Plan on the Web at