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New Zealand Celebrates Significant Reduction In Smoking Rates, Leading The World In Tobacco Harm Reduction

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) celebrates New Zealand's significant strides in reducing smoking rates, particularly among younger age groups. The latest data reveals that daily smoking is now under 4% for under 25-year-olds, marking a substantial decrease from previous years.

“New Zealand's ambitious goal of becoming smoke-free by 2025 is well underway, with comprehensive tobacco control legislation, targeted interventions, and a focus on tobacco harm reduction products playing a crucial role”, said Nancy Loucas, a public health policy expert and passionate advocate for tobacco harm reduction and executive coordinator of CAPHRA.

The success of these government interventions is evident in the reduction of daily smokers to 8%, the lowest rate since records began. Simultaneously, vaping has emerged as a popular alternative to smoking, with 8.3% of adults now vaping daily, up from 6.2% in the past year.

“This shift towards less harmful nicotine products is a key part of New Zealand's world-leading approach to tobacco harm reduction”, said Ms Loucas.

“The success in reducing smoking rates is a testament to public health and the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies,” said Ms Loucas, adding “these measures have positioned New Zealand as a global leader in tobacco harm reduction, setting a precedent for other nations to follow’.

In light of the World Health Organisation's recent call for tobacco-style controls on flavoured vapes, New Zealand's progress in tobacco harm reduction is even more noteworthy.

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CAPHRA applauds New Zealand's achievements and encourages other nations to learn from its successful strategies. The significant reduction in smoking rates, particularly among the younger generation, is a promising step towards a smoke-free future.

“Governments worldwide are urged to recognise the potential of harm reduction and the importance of consumer choice in tobacco harm reduction. By adhering to these principles and ceasing the dissemination of disinformation and biased opinions, governments can enhance their effectiveness in promoting global public health and addressing the complex challenges associated with tobacco use and harm reduction”, Ms Loucas said.

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