For the first time since 2007, there are more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The health department released 2013 data on Monday, which showed 16.1 percent of adult New Yorkers were smokers. The lowest percentage on record was in 2010, when 14 percent of city residents identified as smokers.
In a media release, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said the increase must be taken seriously, and announced a new campaign aimed at getting light smokers and non-daily smokers to quit. Light and infrequent smokers make up about 76 percent of the city's smokers, data shows.
Television ads will run this month, and a subway campaign is slated for October.
“We cannot lose ground on the manysuccesses we’ve had in reducing smoking in our city. Our new ads remind NewYorkers that there is no safe level of smoking. Even smokers who have cutback are at risk for devastating health consequences,” Bassett said.
More information on quitting smoking is available by visiting nysmokefree.comor by calling 311 or 866-NYQUITS.