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Aotearoa records lowest smoking rate ever

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Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Ōtepoti – New Zealand’s smoking rate has fallen to an historic low of eight percent of adults smoking daily, down from 9.4 percent a year ago.

The government’s plan to reduce smoking is working. The number of people smoking fell by 56,000 over the past year, despite the pressures and stress of the pandemic and smoking rates are now half of what they were 10 years ago, , associate minister of health Dr Ayesha Verrall says.

The government has made stop-smoking services more accessible and introduced tailored Māori and Pacific services and funded more health promotion. The policies are leading to more quit attempts, with roughly 84,000 people attempting to quit smoking in the past 12 months.

There has been a big drop in the daily smoking rates for Māori wāhine. A quarter of Māori wāhine smokers have quit in the last 12 months, down from 24.1 percent last year to 18.2 percent this year.

“The overall daily smoking rate for Māori is now at a low of 19.9 percent, down from 22.3 percent in 2020-21.  Smoking rates are plummeting and the goal of being smokefree by 2025 is within reach.

New smokefree legislation should be passed next month. This will decrease the number of retail outlets able to sell tobacco, drastically reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and ensure the next generation are never sold tobacco.

It’s never too late to quit smoking and people should contact Quitline or the local stop-smoking provider.

The annual update of key results 2021-22 New Zealand health survey can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Other key facts:

  • 8.0 percent of adults were daily smokers in 2021/22, down from 9.4 percent the previous year and 16.4 percent in 2011/12.
  • Daily smoking rates in 2021/22 are 19.9 percent for Maori, 18.2 percent for Pacific peoples, 7.2 percent, European/other and Asian 2.6 percent.
  • 8.3 percent of adults are now vaping daily increasing from 6.2 percent in the past year.
  • The New Zealand Health Survey has been providing information about the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders since 1992/93. Since 2011 the results have been collected continuously and published annually, enabling the ministry to monitor important health-related time trends.