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ASH welcome drop in youth smoking

_Media Release

8 December 2008

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ

_ASH welcome drop in youth smoking, but warn “youth smoking war not over”

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomes recent findings from the University of Auckland’s Adolescent Health Research Group.

The researchers surveyed over 9500 youth from over 100 randomly selected secondary schools from around the country about their health and wellbeing.

Only eight percent of students report smoking cigarettes weekly or more often in 2007 compared to 16 percent in 2001. Fewer students had ever tried smoking cigarettes - down from 52 percent in 2001 to 32 percent in 2007.

ASH Director, Ben Youdan, said “This survey backs up what we found with the 2007 ASH Year 10 Survey. Youth are rejecting a life of addiction and disease in favour of being smokefree.”

The ASH Year 10 survey showed daily smoking had fallen from 15.6 percent in 1999 to 7.3 percent in 2007.

However, Mr Youdan says the war against youth smoking is not yet won.

“Tobacco companies are still desperate to recruit customers to replace the thousands who die each year. Marketing measures like tobacco retail displays continue to send mixed messages to our youth. Society says not to smoke and yet the display of tobacco across the country tells kids that tobacco is an acceptable product when it’s not. It’s a lethal product – tobacco displays need to be removed for this reason,” said Mr Youdan.


ENDS

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