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Worrying lack of progress towards Smokefree 2025

Latest smoking statistics show a worrying lack of progress toward Smokefree 2025

Nearly seven years since the last government agreed to a goal for a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025, there is a concerning lack of progress. The latest New Zealand Health Survey figures released by the Ministry of Health show that smoking has only declined by 2.5% since 2011/12. There is no significant change in smoking rates since the last figures were published in 2016.

Even more concerning is that nearly 2 in 5 Māori women are still smoking.

ASH Programme Manager, Boyd Broughton said: “Despite increased taxes, removing tobacco displays, and mandating plain packs, we are still not making enough progress. In 2010 the Māori affairs select committee published a report to Parliament that said; ‘We strongly believe that innovations in tobacco control should place financial, ethical, and legal pressure primarily on the tobacco industry.’”

ASH is urging the new Health Minister to pick up the challenge, to recognise that Smokefree 2025 needs to tackle the industry, especially for Māori.

“Māori told the government that the tobacco industry has got away with exploiting and killing people for too long. Holding them to account, and stripping them of their power to addict people to smoking is vital if the government is serious about Smokefree 2025.”

“At the current rate of decline it will take until 2030 to get smoking rates under 5%. For Māori, it will take until 2050. That is another generation of smokers, another generation of cancer, heart disease and avoidable deaths for Māori. The tobacco industry has taken enough lives already. The new Government has a made it clear that they are not afraid to challenge a harmful industry – and tobacco should at the top of this list.”

“We can regain progress towards Smokefree 2025. The goal is totally achievable by a bold government. Whilst it is individuals who smoke, it is a tobacco industry that got them hooked. It’s time to take action against their deadly products and the harm they are causing to New Zealanders”.

Smoking Rates.

• Men19%18.1%17.4%
• Women17.5%14.6%14.1%
• Men36.4%37.3%32.2%
• Women43.7%39.7%38.3%

Source: 2006/07 - 2016/17 New Zealand Health Survey



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