A survey has shown that the number of adults who smoke in New York have decreased by 35% since 2002, a rate which the city officials have said is an all time low. To put it another way, only 14% of New York city smoke, which is the lowest that has been recorded ever since the habit has ever been tracked.
The mayor Mr. Bloomberg said that most of this decline can be credited to the measure implemented in the city which includes higher sales tax on cigarettes, smoking bans in most public places like restaurants, and the awareness campaigns through advertising campaigns that help educate the public on the health risks involving smoking.
The Mayor went on to say “It’s the Health Department urging, but it’s the public that has really made the difference,” He suggests that the public had more to do with the decrease than the measures. The officials also said that there was a major drop in the number of smokers in the southern portion of Staten Island, Flatbush and Canarsie in Brooklyn, with the rate having decreased by more than 50%. The high school students who smoke has drastically decreased from 17.6% to 7.2% in 2010, which is more than half.
At a press conference the mayor Mr Bloomberg was asked if the city was going to implement more laws to help fight smoking in the city. Some methods that have been suggested include a smoking ban in cars that are carrying children. These measures are most likely to help fight the negative impact of second hand smoke to the children.
In the year 2002, the city approved a ban on smoking in most public places like restaurants, beaches, hospitals, etc., in order to help protect the public from second-hand smoke. In addition, controversial advertising was used to create an awareness of the dangers of smoking, with the most effective one being that of people with breathing tubes due to smoking.
In May, though not reflected in this survey, smoking was totally banned from public parks and on beaches. Further, in 2010, city, state and federal cigarette taxes amounted to $6.86 a pack, compared with $1.58 in taxes in 2000. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the city is now $11.20.
Smoking will most likely decrease vastly in the coming years as more and more organisations are realizing the need to join the fight and help stop the spread of this pandemic.