NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Despite the ban of smoking in many public places in New York City, smoking is actually on the rise among adults, according to new Health Department data.
In 2013, 16.1% of New York adults were smokers, up from 14% in 2010.
New York City is home to over one million smokers, according to the Health Department.
“We must take this increase in New York City smokers very seriously,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “We cannot lose ground on the many successes we’ve had in reducing smoking in our city. Our new ads remind New Yorkers that there is no safe level of smoking. Even smokers who have cut back are at risk for devastating health consequences.”
On Monday, the Health Department launched the "Imagine for Life" ad campaign, which is aimed at light and non-daily smokers.
Casual smokers, the Health Department warns, are still at risk for ailments such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, emphysema, lung and other cancers.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable, premature death in New York City.