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Report shows NZ has right tobacco control formula

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Media Release

19 December 2006

For immediate release

MOH report shows NZ has the right tobacco control formula; help needed for youth smokers

23.5 percent of New Zealanders smoke according to the MOH’s Tobacco Trends 2006. This indicates that that the number of New Zealanders who smoke overall continues to decline at around 0.1-0.2 percentage points on average every year.

ASH believes that the MOH’s Tobacco Trends is a vital document that helps review and measure the effectiveness of tobacco control policies and services and highlights areas that require more attention.

Tobacco Trends 2006 has pointed out that the current smoking of youth aged 15-19 year old is higher (27%) than the national average and more resources and youth-specific programmes needs to be introduced to counter this problem.

“If we are serious about further reducing smoking rates we need to use this data and act quickly to enact proven solutions like further regulation of the tobacco industry, removing the retail display of tobacco products and putting them under-the-counter (What’s out of sight is out of mind), increase cigarette taxes (including roll-your-owns), more funding for quit smoking services and introduce mass media campaigns aimed at youth,” says Sneha Paul, ASH Spokesperson.

Key findings from the report include:

1. The prevalence of smoking in New Zealand in 2006 is 23.5%. Prevalence has decreased overall since the 1970s.

2. Highest smoking prevalence is seen among those aged 15-29 years, the lowest smoking prevalence is seen among those aged 50-64 years.

3. Overall, the prevalence of smoking in males (24%) is slightly higher than females (23%).

4. Smoking rates are highest among Mäori (45%) and Pacific people (37%), Mäori females in particular have a very high rate of smoking (50%).

5. The prevalence of smoking in youth aged 15-19 years is 26.8%. In this age group, 25% are daily smokers and 70% identify themselves as being never smokers i.e. never having smoked daily.

6. Among Maori aged 15-19 years, females have a higher smoking prevalence (60%) compared to males (32%). The reverse is true among Pacific peoples, with 28% of females smoking compared to 46% males.

You can download a copy of the entire report from the MOH website.


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