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Quitting and not starting – smoking in New Zealand decreases

Quitting and not starting – smoking in New Zealand decreases – Media release

10 December 2013

Fewer New Zealanders are lighting up, with the number of smokers dropping by nearly a quarter since the last census, new results from Statistics New Zealand show.

According to numbers released today from the 2013 Census, there are now 463,000 adult smokers, a drop of 23 percent from 598,000 at the last census in 2006. That means 15 percent of the adult population smokes.

“There are also 65,000 more people describing themselves as former smokers than in 2006,” Census Statistics Manager Gareth Meech said. “There are now 702,000 people who say they have given up smoking.”

Also released today was data on a wide variety of subjects including dwellings, occupation, religion, and travel to work. Other highlights include:

• The number of people who said they have no religion increased 26 percent to 1.6 million. At the same time, the number of people affiliating with Christian religions fell 8 percent to 1.9 million. Of the largest religions, Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian all decreased, while Hindu, Islam, and Pentecostal increased.
• Over 64,000 people took the bus to work on 5 March 2013 – an increase of 8 percent since the same day in 2006. The number of people who took the train increased 25 percent to 25,000, while the number of people using motorcycles increased 33 percent to 26,000. The number of cyclists increased 16 percent to 44,000.
• Over one million people drove a car to work, but the increase between 2006 and 2013 was only 2 percent, compared with the 17 percent increase seen between 2001 and 2006.
• Sales assistant was the most common occupation, followed by sales representative, general clerk, and chief executive or managing director. Some of the most common occupations that saw large increases since 2006 were software engineers, office managers, and early childhood teachers.
• The number of people who volunteered through an organisation, group, or marae increased 7 percent to 469,000.

These statistics are part of today’s release of 2013 Census totals by topic, which has information on a wide variety of subjects, including dwellings, age group, religion, industry, and occupation groups. This information contains national figures – further breakdowns, such as by age or region, will be progressively released from early 2014.

ENDS

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