In a new report titled Who's Still Smoking, the Health Department sheds light on areas like why quitting smoking is not easy, and how many people actually succeed in giving up the addiction.
The report, based on a large survey of New York City adults, suggests that emotional stress is one of the key factors that causes people to smoke again.
The researchers say that the rate of quitting amongst distressed smokers is only 12 percent, as compared to others, who quit at a rate of 18 percent.
Citing binge drinking as an equal factor, the study says that only 11 percent of binge drinkers succeeded in the attempts to quit compared to 18 percent of non-binge drinkers.
The new study also showed that smoking is really difficult to quit. The figures suggested that only 17 percent of the 800,000 New Yorkers who tried to put out their butts succeeded last year.
Researchers said that New York City has 240,000 fewer smokers today than in 2002, but cessation rates vary widely by region. Staten Island's smoking rate has held steady since 2002, even as the citywide rate has dropped by 20 percent. Some 27 percent of Staten Island adults still smoke, the report shows, compared to 17.5 percent citywide. In comparison, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, have all seen declines of more than 20 percent.
The new report also shows that men smoke more than women in New York City (20 percent versus 15 percent) but that both sexes are quitting at similar rates. Black and Hispanic smokers are more likely than whites to try quitting, the report shows, but less likely to succeed.
Survey data also indicate that attempts to quit smoking also vary by education level. New Yorkers without a high school education are more likely to try to quit than those who have a college degree (70 percent versus 62 percent), but they succeed at a lower rate (14 percent vs. 20 percent).