- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The smoking rate in New York state has dropped to its lowest level since public health officials began tracking the number.

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.

New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says the drop reflects the state’s ongoing efforts to promote tobacco cessation 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.

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