Health survey finds number of BX, city smokers has increased since 2004

The city?s health commissioner is calling for an increase on the cigarette tax after a recent survey found the number of Bronx and city smokers has increased since 2004.

According to the city?s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 18.9 percent of adults smoked in 2005 compared to the 18.4 percent that smoked in 2004. Four years ago, the city took steps to reduce smoking rates, including increasing the tobacco tax and eliminating smoking in the workplace, restaurants and bars.

City health officials say the changes four years ago helped reduce the number of smokers for a while, but the number is back up again. They say increasing the tobacco tax is the most effective way to continue making progress. The city would need approval from the state to raise the tobacco tax.

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