While New York may not be known for its clean air, largely due to pollution, the city’s sidewalks, at one point in time, used to feature a smoky haze hovering above, never quite diminishing due to the number of smokers that were constantly lighting up in the city. Needless to say, the city’s large population of smokers was only causing havoc for public health, pushing lawmakers to finally take a stand. Since 2006, New York has been making extra efforts to try to tackle the unhealthy smoking habits of its residents. From smoking bans to powerful anti-smoking campaigns, this ongoing battle is slowly succeeding in decreasing the number of people that smoke in New York.
In 2011, New York introduced a citywide outdoor smoking ban, making it illegal to smoke in any of the city’s parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas. While this may not have too much of an effect when it comes to encouraging smokers to quit this life-threatening habit, it will help to somewhat reduce the 50,000 deaths each year that are caused by second-hand smoke.
As part of the city’s anti-smoking campaign in 2006, New York began to release a series of hard-hitting anti-smoking advertisements, making sure that these adverts not only highlighted the social stigma that comes with smoking, but also the health and welfare issues that smokers tend to suffer from. These creative and groundbreaking advertisements are mostly produced in English, but there are a number of Spanish versions dotted around town to help target the city’s Latin population.
Smoking Cessation Kits
Last month, New York announced a new anti-smoking campaign, this time featuring smoking cessation kits that will be given away for free to smokers wanting to give up the habit. In addition to an encouraging and supportive program, the pack also includes either nicotine patches or nicotine gum, aimed at giving smokers a practical option when it comes to helping them to quit. By reducing the frustrating symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, nicotine gum and patches will double a smoker’s chances of being able to quit.
Over the past ten years, New York has steadily increased its cigarette tax, making it more and more expensive for smokers to purchase a pack of their favorite so-called cancer sticks. Now, the price of a pack of cigarettes in New York City is the highest out of all other locations in the US, contributing to the falling rate of smokers in the city.
While the city may be putting its very best efforts into its anti-smoking campaigns, the number of smokers in the city, in recent years, has been fluctuating. However, latest figures show that smoking is now at an all-time low in New York, with a lower number of average smokers than that of other American states. This is perhaps due to a combination of all of the city’s efforts, from their anti-smoking advertisements to the high cigarette tax to the smoking cessation kits, but, no matter what the reason may be, it would seem as though New York is finally becoming a much healthier city.