Smoking rates for adults and high school students, New York State, 2000-2009

Smoking tobacco contributes to 25,500 deaths annually in New York State by increasing the risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. These figures do not include deaths from cigarette-related burns and second-hand smoke. In New York State, an estimated 389,000 individuals currently between the ages of one and 17 eventually will die from smoking during their lifetime. While adult smoking rates have declined in recent years, cigarette use is still responsible for one in six deaths in adults. Among high school students, tobacco use is also on the decline; in 2009, 15 percent of high schoolers reported smoking, down from 29 percent in 2001.

Smoking rates for adults, Finger Lakes Region, 2009

Smoking rates within the region tended to be higher in the southern counties of Chemung, Seneca, Schuyler and Steuben. All but two counties, Yates and Livingston, exceeded the New York State rate of 17 percent in 2009.  

Rate of fruit and vegetable consumption, Finger Lakes Region

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicates that individuals should consume between five and thirteen servings of fruits and vegatables per day. The Harvard School of Public Health says that a diet rich in fruits and vegatables lowers the risk for many serious health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. 

Residents of Ontario and Yates counties are most likely to indicate that they consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with one-third of those surveyed saying they do so. Monroe County follows with 30 percent consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. These three counties exceed the overall percentage for New York State of 27 percent.


Lack of exercise

Physical activity defined as having not participated in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise in the past month.

Among the nine county Finger Lakes region, more than one-quarter of Yates county residents surveyed did not participate in leisure time physical activity in 2009. In addition, about one-quarter of Steuben, Seneca and Wayne county residents did not participate in leisure time physical activity. These four counties surpass the percentage of New York State residents (23%) who are not physically active during their free time.

The remaining counties indicate being more physically active than New York State residents overall by three to seven percentage points with Monroe county residents reporting the lowest percentage of non-physically active residents (16%).

For further information please refer to the 2014 Regional Scan at

Overweight and obesity, Finger Lakes region, New York

Results from the Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey showed that close to three-quarters of the population from three Finger Lakes counties were overweight or obese during the period July 2008 to June 2009. 

With the exception of Ontario County, all counties in the region experienced higher rates of overweight and obesity than the overall rate for New York State.

In general, more residents were overweight than obese, with the largest difference reported in Livingston County. Among the 639 residents surveyed in Livingston County, 23 percent were obese and 39 percent overweight.

Three counties--Monroe, Schuyler, and Seneca--had a greater percentage of obese versus overweight residents, although these differences were small. At 38 percent, Seneca County's obesity rate ranked the highest among the nine counties.  

Infant Mortality

Infant mortality, defined as deaths in the first year of life, has changed little over time, however, substantial disparities by race and ethnicity persist in the region.