Press Release: New Zealand
Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga welcomes a health
report which shows more smokers have quit and fewer people have
The New Zealand Health Survey: 2012/2013 Tobacco
Use report showed smoking had declined from 1996/97 when 25%
of the adult population were smokers to 18% by 2012/13.
The largest decrease was for 15-19 year olds. For this age
group, smoking decreased by 36% between 2006/07 and 2012/13.
The report showed a significant increase in the number of people
who successfully quit smoking - up from 8% of smokers in 2006 to
11% in 2012. Around 82,000 people successfully quit smoking in
"Tobacco use is the single largest avoidable cause of health
loss and premature death in New Zealand," says Mr Lotu-Iiga. "This
report shows a significant decline in smoking and it is pleasing to
see that smoking is no longer attractive for young people.
"This Government is committed to the aspirational goal of a
smokefree New Zealand by 2025. It is a challenge, but one that can
be realistically achieved with continued and additional efforts on
a range of tobacco control fronts. This includes media campaigns,
legislation, price and smoking cessation support as well as new
innovative policies to reach smokers who are less responsive to
"More work is needed with population groups with high smoking
rates, such as Māori and Pacific peoples, in order to drive down
their rates and decrease their burden of disease."
The Government has introduced significant legislative changes
including increasing taxation levels (with further tax increases
planned for 2015 and 2016), increased penalties and instant fines
for those selling to minors, removal of retailers' ability to
display tobacco products and reduced duty free tobacco allowances
for incoming travellers. The Government has legislation before the
House to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products.
The report is available here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/tobacco-use-2012-13-new-zealand-health-survey