STATEN ISLAND - While smoking in New York City is the least popular it's been in over a decade, Staten Island stands out as the borough with the most cigarette smokers, city data shows.
Out of the five boroughs, Staten Island has the highest percentage of smokers, at 16.6 percent, closely followed by the Bronx with 16.2 percent, according to a 2014 survey released by the city Health Department on Wednesday.
Queens residents smoke the least — only 12.6 percent of the people surveyed in Queens said they smoke. The percentage of smokers was slightly higher in Manhattan and Brooklyn, at 12.7 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, data shows.
Citywide, only 13.9 percent of New Yorkers identified as smokers, the lowest rate since the survey was first conducted in 2002.
The numbers reflect "a continuation of the overall decline" in NYC smoking rates, the DOH said in a statement.
Today, fewer than 900,000 New Yorkers smoke, a 35 percent decline since 2002, according to the agency, which attributed the shrinking number to laws meant to deter smokers, such as the ban on smoking on parks and boardwalks, in addition to hard-hitting media campaigns.
Staten Island has held the title for the borough with the most smokers for years. The last time another borough had the highest percentage was in 2010, when Bronx came in first.
The DOH's annual Community Health Survey is conducted over telephone, and is based on a sample of 8,500 randomly selected New Yorkers from all five boroughs.