Number of New Yorkers Who Smoke Reaches All-Time Low

09/16/2011 2:40 PM |

Aurel Schmidt Burnout drawing detail.

  • Aurel Schmidt “Burnout” drawing detail.

Only 14 percent of New Yorkers are now smokers, which NY1 reports is an all-time low, and this should come as no surprise to anyone. High taxes and a bevy of anti-smoking legislation will make non-smokers out of just about anyone. Mayor Bloomberg’s personal war against a habit he hates has succeeded—if only he hated poverty, soaring rents, and the number of school children who are homeless as much.

That’s the other side to the “thank god no one smokes anymore” story. Smoking’s unhealthy, we all know that, and the less smoking there is, the better. But concerted public campaigns against smoking alone ignore issues that are of far greater relevance to the health of New York City. What if our mayor used the same fervor he did for his anti-smoking crusade and channeled it toward the distressing income inequality that continues to plague our city? Maybe a new mayor in 2013 will (Marty?), and the few people who do still smoke will be left alone.