Close this search box.

NYC Smoking Rate Lowest In 50 Years

smoking.jpgMayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden announced today that after years in which the smoking rate drastically declined in only four of the five boroughs in New York City, Staten Island residents began to follow suit in 2007, where the high smoking rate fell by 25 percent – or 22,000 people according to the annual Community Health Survey.  Smoking has continued to decline overall in New York since 2002 and is now at the lowest rate in more than 50 years.

“Staten Islanders aren’t just yearning to breathe free – they’re doing it,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This finding reminds us never to settle for the status quo. It shows us that more and more smokers continue to quit. And it proves once again that when you take bold action in public health, you get results. A city with 300,000 fewer smokers is one where 100,000 fewer people will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases.”

“If you smoke, quitting is by far the most important thing you can do to improve your health,” said Commissioner Frieden. “Most people who’ve ever smoked have already quit, and most people who still smoke want to quit. If you smoke, quit today. If you need help, just call 311.”

Some 20.4 percent of adults still smoke on Staten Island, compared to 16.9 percent citywide. No other borough achieved such a dramatic reduction in 2007. Staten Island’s adult smoking rate plummeted from 27.2 percent in 2006 to 20.4 percent in 2007, and was especially pronounced among Staten Island men, whose rate fell from 29.3 percent in 2006 to 19.9 percent in 2007. The Health Department’s new findings show that this is the first time that there has been such a sharp decline among smokers on Staten Island. Citywide, the number of smokers has fallen by 300,000 in five years.

While Staten Island’s smoking decline is recent, the other boroughs have also shown a decline since 2002. Smoking rates in the other boroughs are 18.2 percent in the Bronx, 17 percent in Brooklyn, 16.4 percent in Manhattan, and 16 percent in Queens. Roughly 1 million New Yorkers still smoke, but this is a decrease of 300,000 since 2002, and the number continues to dwindle.

To help New Yorkers quit, the Bloomberg Administration has supported a tobacco tax increase, enacted a clean indoor air law, launched hard-hitting anti-smoking ad campaigns, and provided hundreds of thousands of people with free courses of nicotine-replacement therapy. Last month, nearly 30,000 city residents called 311 to get free nicotine patches and gum during a two-week giveaway.

Help to Quit

If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do for your health. New Yorkers who want to give up smoking can call 311 for help.

Five Tips to Make Quitting Easier

1)Prepare yourself. Make a list of your reasons for quitting and plan for situations that may tempt you to smoke.
2)Pick a quit date. Get rid of ashtrays and lighters, and all cigarettes.
3)Make your home and car smoke-free. It is healthier for others and will help you resist smoking.
4)Get support and encouragement. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are quitting and ask for their support. If you use medicines to quit, you can double or triple your chances of success.
5)Find a “quit buddy”. Ask a smoker to quit with you, or find someone who has already quit who you can talk to for support.

About the Data

The new findings are drawn from the 2007 Community Health Survey, a telephone survey of approximately 10,000 New York City adults (18 years or older). The survey is conducted annually for the Health Department by an independent contractor using nationally standardized methods.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Popular Posts