New York, Jan 6 : Smoking has becoming "uncool" among teenagers in New York city, with smoking rates dropping by more than half in the past six years, it has been revealed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said last year's smoking rate among city teens was 8.5 percent, approximately two-thirds lower than the latest available nationwide teen smoking rate of 23 percent.
Bloomberg and Frieden said that they credited the decline to the city's sustained efforts to reduce smoking among adults, which include a tax increase, the smoke-free workplace law and TV and subway ads that graphically depict the realities of tobacco-related illnesses.
"It has become uncool to smoke," the New York Daily News quoted Bloomberg, as saying.
"In 2001, roughly one out of every six high school students smoked. Today, that has fallen to about one out of every 12 -- or about 8.5 percent of students. The reduction in teen smoking we've achieved in New York City will eventually prevent at least 8,000 premature deaths," he added.
In 2001, about 19 percent of city teens admitted to smoking. This figure fell to 15 percent in 2003 and to 11 percent in 2005.
"Kids are smarter than adults," said Frieden, who has also been working with Bloomberg's private philanthropy on a worldwide anti-tobacco campaign.
The data for the report are based on results of the 2007 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire adapted for New York City from protocols developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI