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75,000 New Zealanders vote for a smokefree future

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

12 March 2012 Media Statement

75,000 New Zealanders vote for a smokefree future

74,764 New Zealanders, mostly aged between 13 and 24 years, have added their vote in support of a campaign built around the phrase: ‘smoking not our future.’

“This is another outstanding result - it’s equivalent to the entire population of a region like Rotorua or Nelson standing up for a smokefree future,” Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia explains.

“Even more encouraging is the fact that a number of smokers are included in this figure. We’ve known for a long time that most smokers want to quit. Now we are seeing their support mirrored among the young people of New Zealand as well,” Hon Turia adds.

The campaign’s facebook page, which features videos and posters with a variety of New Zealand celebrities and role models, is ‘liked’ by just under 75,000 people. Based on figures from Statistics NZ, this represents just under 12% of 13-24 year olds in New Zealand.

This news comes directly on the heels of record declines in youth smoking rates, reported two weeks ago by the 2011 Year 10 ASH Smoking Survey.

Further research published in 2011 (the Youth Insights Survey), indicates that virtually all 12-24 year olds recall seeing the Smoking Not Our Future ads and, of those who could recall the ads, 83% felt they give them good reasons not to smoke.

“Every indicator we have is telling us that what we are doing is working. We’re seeing more people quitting smoking than ever before and now our young people are increasingly voting for a future without tobacco.”

“They are the future of this country and we are witnessing a strong declaration that they are not content to leave their future in the hands of the tobacco industry. It is up to us to support them in every way we can,” said Hon Turia.

Additionally, 68% of those surveyed felt the ads made smoking seem ‘less cool’ and almost a quarter (24%) said the ads had led some young people they know to try to quit smoking.

The findings from the Youth Insights Survey also indicate the campaign resonates particularly well among Maori. The results revealed that Maori participants were not only more likely to recall seeing the ads (70%) than their non-Maori peers (63%), but also more likely to discuss the ads with their friends and whanau (23%, versus 16%), and more likely to know someone who quit because of the campaign (35%, versus 23%).

“Tobacco may have been a part of our past but it has no place in our future and this campaign result strongly supports this view” said Hon Turia.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:
• The Not Our Future facebook page can be found at facebook.com/notourfuture. 74,764 people have ‘liked’ the page, as of 3.30pm, Fri 9 March 2012.
• Full details of the 2010 Youth Insights Survey can be found in the following factsheets on HSC’s website:
Awareness of Smoking Not Our Future – Youth Insights Survey 2010. In Fact.
Impact of Smoking Not Our Future – Youth Insights Survey 2010. In Fact.
• The 2011 Year 10 ASH Smoking Survey results can be at www.ash.org.nz
• According to Statistics NZ, New Zealand's youth population was last estimated at 695,000. 75,000 people represents 11.6% of this total.

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