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Drop In Pacific Smoking Rates

Drop In Pacific Smoking Rates.

Tala Pasifika and The Heart Foundation’s Pacific Heartbeat are celebrating news of a significant drop in Pacific smoking prevalence rates over the past seven years.

According to the latest census data from Statistics New Zealand, Pacific smoking prevalence rates in adults have dropped from 30.3 percent in 2006 to 23.2 percent in 2013.

Pacific Health Manager and Tala Pasifika acting manager Louisa Ryan says it is great to see more and more Pacific adults stubbing out for good.

“Through our smoking cessation programmes, we have been working hard to help encourage our Pacific communities to quit so that they can be around to fulfil their lifetimes with families,” Ms Ryan says.

“We want to congratulate our Pacific community for choosing a healthier tomorrow. Ultimately it’s about creating a future for our children that’s free from tobacco harm. We encourage those who are still smoking to make a choice for life and make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking in 2014,” she says.

Quitting smoking will not only improve people’s health but also put more cash in their wallets. It is estimated Pacific smokers spend millions of dollars each year on tobacco products.

The total number of adult smokers in New Zealand is now 463,0000- representing a drop of 23% from 598,000 at Census 2006.
The release of the statistics comes on the heels of an announcement by Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia that the first reading for the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill will be held in early 2014.
Ms Ryan says to become a truely smokefree nation, New Zealand needs to make it easier for smokers to quit and less attractive for young people to start.

As part of the plan to make New Zealand Smokefree by 2025, the Government has agreed in principal to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products sold in New Zealand, following a similar move in Australia.
Ms Ryan says  Plain Packaging  is not aimed at smokers – but at children and teenagers. Almost all smokers in New Zealand start when they are young. 
Packages are designed to appeal to youngsters wanting to look grown up and sophisticated.

• Tobacco kills 5,000 New Zealanders every year. 
• Around half of regular smokers will die from tobacco related illness – many more will have their health and their lives seriously damaged.
• Quitting is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact smokers are 2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
• Tala Pasifika is the National Pacific Tobacco Control Service.

ENDS

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