There is some great news from New York State this week. As summer begins and the good weather is here, you will see less and less people smoking. That's because the actual numbers of people smoking have been dropping off here in the Empire State. As a matter of fact, the numbers show that we are at an all time low in terms of the amount of people who smoke.

In 2020, that rate was sitting at 12-percent which is below the national average of 15-point-five percent. Among people between the ages of 18 and 24, the smoking rate is five-point-five percent.

Anyone who needs help quitting smoking can call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-697-8487 or visit nysmokefree.com.

As a former smoker, I can completely understand how tough it is to give up smoking. For me, it was all about trading a bad habit for a better one. When I decided to quit and give up smoking for good, I started to run. I wasn't doing marathons. But I challenged myself to run at least a mile and then added to the distance as time went on. It was amazing how much better I slept and felt after just a few runs. I admit, to this day, I still think about cigarettes every now and again. But the risks outweigh the benefits and I lace up the shoes and hit the road for a run and remember why I gave up cigarettes.

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