Mayor Bloomberg announced in a press conference on Tuesday that the life expectancy for New Yorkers has reached an all-time high, with babies born in 2009 expected to live to the age of 80.6 years.
The longer life span surpasses the national average of 78.2 years and continues the city's upward trend. In 2010, the city's health department announced that babies born in 2007 had a life expectancy of 79.4 years, the highest recorded in New York history at the time.
Bloomberg attributed the news to both the city's anti-smoking and HIV prevention policies. He said:
If you want to live longer and healthier than the average American then come to New York City...By investing in health care and continuing to encourage more New Yorkers to take charge of their own health, we've experienced dramatic improvements in life expectancy.
The mayor has been a longtime supporter in the crusade against smoking, having signed the city's smoking ban earlier this year, preventing New Yorkers from legally smoking in city parks, public plazas, and beaches.
While some criticized the ban for impeding on civil liberties, Bloomberg touted the policies as a leading cause for the city's record low smoking rate reported in September.
The city recently cracked down on "roll-your-own" cigarette shops . The stores, which skirted Bloomberg's high cigarette taxes, are scheduled to close rather than face lawsuits from the city.