NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — For the first time since 2007 there are more than 1 million smokers lighting up in New York City, according to data released Monday by the Department of Health.

Of all adult New Yorkers, the city said 16 percent are smokers — an increase from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city’s lowest recorded rate.

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“Of course, things aren’t going in the right direction,” Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “We want to see the rate go down year after year.”

In an effort to combat the rise in smoking, city officials are launching a new anti-smoking ad campaign called “Imagine for Life.”

The campaign, which has been authorized by Mayor Bill de Blasio, focuses on the negative health impacts of smoking, even for those who only grab a cigarette once in a while.

The ads ask light smokers to imagine what their morning cough would feel like it never went away.

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“When your body feels it, you need to listen, and you need to quit,” Bassett said.

De Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, made anti-smoking a centerpiece of his public health agenda.

Bloomberg banned smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants.

The New York City Council also took aim at e-cigarettes late last year after it approved a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes from indoor public spaces where smoking is already prohibited.

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