- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York health officials report statewide smoking rates at their lowest recorded levels, down to 7.3 percent among high school students last year and 14.5 percent among adults.

The national average for adults is 17.8 percent.

According to the health department, the smoking rate in high school was 27.1 percent in 2000.

Since 2000, the state has banned indoor smoking, imposed taxes to keep cigarette costs high and enforced laws against sales to minors.

The New York Tobacco Control Program says most smokers start before they turn 18, with young people often affected by family and peers.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the state’s anti-smoking efforts need to continue with a goal of ridding New York of tobacco.

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