With smoking down, things are looking up in New York. According to a recent study smoking rates have dropped by a whopping 35% in New York and the state has reached an all-time low 14% smoking rate.
Mayor Bloomberg attributed the decrease preventative legislation that made smoking not only harder to do in public but considerably more expensive due to tax hikes. He also went on to give credit to an innumerable amount of New Yorkers who actively made the decision to quit for their own health – a clear sign that awareness campaigns do work.
While on overall 35% drop is outstanding, there are some particular stats that are more impressive. In certain neighborhoods (Central Harlem, Southern Staten Island, Flatbush and Canarsie in Brooklyn) the rate has dropped by over 50%.
The most promising statistic came from high school students. In 2001 New York high school students reported a 17.6% smoking rate but that rate has dropped by over half and now rests at 7.2%. The drop is significant because it shows a decrease in the number of new and potential life-long smokers, a group that big tobacco desperately needs to stay in business.