NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Officials in New York City want smokers to pack it in.

Starting today, the base price for a pack of cigarettes in New York City will be $13, the city’s Health Department announced Friday.

More than 850,000 adults smoke in New York, officials said, adding that smoking contributes to the premature deaths of 12,000 New Yorkers a year.

Smoking rates in NYC have declined from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 13.1 percent in 2016, according to officials.

The number of youth who smoke declined by roughly 70 percent between 2001 and 2017.

The de Blasio administration hopes to reduce the number of smokers in New York City to 160,000 by 2020.

“The cost of cigarettes is rising in New York City, and history shows that higher prices means fewer smokers,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “I’m thrilled we’re back on top with the highest pack price in the United States.”

“Cigarettes, like asbestos and processed meats, have been labeled a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “We must do all we can to reduce the consumption of known carcinogens in our city, especially for our youth.”s New Yorkers make healthier choices and lead healthier lives.”

Last August, de Blasio signed into law several bills targeting tobacco.

Officials offered these tips to make quitting smoking easier:

  • Find your reasons. Make a list of your reasons for quitting and read it often.
  • Pick a quit date. Choose a day that works for you and gives you time to prepare. Throw out all of your cigarettes beforehand, and get rid of ashtrays and lighters.
  • Get support and encouragement. Tell your family, friends and coworkers that you are quitting and ask for their support.
  • Notice and avoid what triggers cravings. Alcohol, coffee, stress, and being around others who smoke can all trigger cravings. Notice what makes you feel like smoking so that you can avoid those situations, change your routine, and have a plan to deal with your triggers.
  • Keep trying. It takes almost everyone multiple tries to quit smoking, so don’t be afraid to try again. You haven’t failed – you have learned more about your triggers. Throw out your cigarettes and start again.

The city has services that offer a free starter kit that includes medications to help quit smoking. To find out more, click here, or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). There is also a “HelpMeQuit” app available on Apple or Google Play stores.

For more information, you can also click here.