New Zealand Leads The Way In Tobacco Control: A Model For Success
The recent release of the New Zealand Health Survey 2021/22 has provided a clear snapshot of the nation's health, including significant progress in tobacco control. The survey reveals a remarkable decrease in the prevalence of current smokers, from 13.7% in 2019/20 to 10.9% in 2020/21, and further down to an impressive 9.2% in 2021/22.
These results demonstrate New Zealand's successful approach to tobacco control. In addition to the New Zealand Health Survey, the ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey 2022 highlights the positive trend in smoking and vaping rates among 14 and 15-year-old school students.
“This survey provides valuable insights into the behaviour and attitudes of young individuals, showing a decline in smoking and vaping,” says Nancy Loucas, a prominent New Zealand public health consumer advocate and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.
“These findings indicate that New Zealand's efforts in tobacco control are making a significant impact across different age groups. The Ministry of Health has affirmed that New Zealand's tobacco control program is not only well aligned with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), but also goes beyond its requirements,” said Ms Loucas
The recent legislative amendments have strengthened the application of the FCTC and have positioned New Zealand as a leader in tobacco harm reduction.
CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates) commends New Zealand's commitment to tobacco control and its independent sovereign policy. The success in reducing smoking rates is a testament to the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies. CAPHRA urges the international community, particularly Australia, to respect New Zealand's approach and refrain from pressuring them to change their policies.
“New Zealand's achievements in tobacco control should be celebrated and serve as a model for other countries. The dedication to harm reduction strategies and the continuous efforts to go beyond the requirements of the FCTC have positioned New Zealand as a global leader in this field,” said Ms Loucas.
CAPHRA hopes that New Zealand's success will inspire other nations to adopt similar approaches alongside welcoming the voice of consumer advocates,” Ms Loucas said.