13.9% Smokers in New York
The Community Health Survey reveals that in 2014 the smoking rate in New York City dropped to 13.9% and this is the lowest percentage ever. Experts are surprised by these numbers because smoking rates were showing a rise in the past several years.
For example, 2013 data shows that the number of smokers in the New York City reached 16.1%, that is the highest point since 2007. It equals to over one million smoking residents.
However, this trend showed a significant change in a single year. City Health care providers say this is a result of years of efforts put on fighting with tobacco use. Sonia Angell, deputy commissioner for prevention and primary care, explains that the decrease was expected as too many efforts were put on anti-smoking campaigns.
Health department of Bloomberg administration made anti-smoking campaigns a priority since the beginning of its mandate. Remember that it increased taxes on cigarettes and as a result today New York has highest cigarettes prices across the USA. Also it released a series of anti-smoking ads which showed the effects of smoking. Besides this, there was increased to 21 age to buy tobacco.
When tobacco control is funded correspondingly, smoking rates are proved to get lower. However, when the spendings are cut, smoking rates show an increase. This happend between 2008 and 2013, when tobacco control spendings were cut by 47% and this resulted in smoking rates increase.
In 2014 there was launched an anti-smoking campaign which targeted occasional smokers in order to remind them that even one cigarette affects their health. The number of occasional smokers increased from 76% in 2013 to 79.5% in 2014. Experts explain that these numbers show that overall efforts are working because daily smokers become occasional smokers.
The number of smokers aged 18-24 remains the same in last several years while the number of smokers aged 25-44 has reduced from 19.4% in 2013 to 16.1% in 2014.
The number of smokers aged 45-64 also dropped from 17.6% in 2013 to 14.8% in 2014.
A state report demonstrates that smoking rates across New York dropped to 14.5%.
Patrick Kwan, director of NYC Smoke-Free for Public Health Solutions, is happy that smoking rates are lowering, but says still more need to be done.