NY City - smokers kicking the addiction and living longer than ever..

January 27, 2010 - "New York City is increasingly a healthy place to live," said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, who credited better lifestyle habits for New Yorkers' longer lives.

"This probably reflects less on medical care than it does on the improvement of a few behaviors and conditions that have a big impact on health problems, particularly smoking, HIV/AIDS reduction and reductions in injuries," Farley said.

The Health Department's annual vital statistics report said life expectancy for babies born in 2007 grew to 79.4 years - an improvement of nearly five months over 2006. That's 19 months longer than life expectancy was in 2001.

Since then, the city has ended smoking in bars and restaurants and raised taxes on cigarettes. The average life expectancy for women is now 82 years, and for men, it's 76.3 years.

The leading cause of death in 2008 remained heart disease, accounting for 39% of deaths, with 24% of deaths due to cancer. Pneumonia and the flu were a distant third with 4%.

Among people between the ages of 15 and 34 who died, the leading cause of death was homicide.

A full report on a range of statistics about birth, life and death in New York is available at nyc.gov/vitalstats.

Reference: New York City has highest life expectancy in recorded history: data by Erin Einhorn (eeinhorn@nydailynews.com), NEW YORK (NY) DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU, 1/26/2010.

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