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Health Survey Confirms Smoking Rates are Declining

Health Survey Confirms Smoking Rates are Declining

The 2012/13 New Zealand Health survey has found that the number of adult smokers fell from 17.8% last year to 15.5% this year. This is a 2.3% fall in smoking levels in just one year. The survey confirms the sharp reduction in
smoking levels shown by the Census data which was released by Statistics New Zealand earlier this week.

‘The New Zealand Health Survey: Annual update of key findings 2012/13’, which was published by the Ministry of Health today, estimates the smoking prevalence
rate to be 15.5% of the population which is in-line with the 15.1% shown by the
Census results. It should be noted that different smoking questions are asked in each survey.

Dr Jan Pearson, Chairperson of the Smokefree Coalition and the Cancer Society’s
National Health Promotion Manager explains:

“The Health Survey is a high quality annual study which consists of interviews
with a representative sample of the population. The fact that the Health Survey
establishes the same decline in the number of New Zealanders who smoke as the
Census did, shows that smoking is on the way out in our country.”

The survey has an annual sample size of approximately 13,000 adults and
4,500 children.

“These results tell us that the Smokefree 2025 goal is achievable. However,
Smokefree Coalition members believe that we need to do more, particularly
to help bring down smoking rates among Māori and Pacific populations and
among those living higher in deprived areas. We urge action in areas such as
the reduction of duty-free allowance on cigarettes and tobacco; Smokefree
cars; increased investment in cessation and new nicotine replacement devices;
increased taxation; and unbranded packaging.

These surveys are encouraging but we must maintain momentum. The health of far too many people is still being severely damaged by their addiction to smoking,” says Dr Prudence Stone,

- ENDS –

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