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‘Healthier than ever’: New York state’s smoking rate hits record low

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ALBANY, N.Y. — More New Yorkers than ever are putting out their cigarettes for good, according to new figures released by the governor’s officer this week revealing the state’s smoking rate has dropped to a record low.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the latest decline on Monday, saying the smoking rate among high schoolers is 7.3 percent while the rate among adults is at 14.5 percent, down from 12.5 percent for high-school students and 18.1 percent for adults in 2011. That’s the lowest level since public health officials began tracking the number.

“… It’s clear that New York State is becoming healthier than ever,” Cuomo said of the findings.

New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says the drop reflects the state’s ongoing efforts to promote tobacco cessation, including high tobacco taxes, and make it harder for young people to obtain cigarettes.

New York’s smoking rates remain below the national average. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national smoking rate for adults is 17.8 percent and for high-school students it is 9.2 percent.