New Zealand: Smoking Down More Than Usual

    Photo: sezerozger

    Smoking rates have decreased more than usual, reports NZ Herald, citing a recent government health survey.

    In 2020–2021, smoking rates decreased across all ethnic groups. For Maori adults, smoking was down 6.4 percent to 22.3 percent compared to 28.7 percent in 2019/2020.

    Deborah Hart, director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), says that the decline is due to the smoke-free initiatives put in place, including plain packaging and taxes on cigarettes.

    Vaping rates have increased by 3.5 percent compared to 0.9 percent in 2015/2016. A study by ASH and the University of Auckland showed that daily use of e-cigarettes is occurring overwhelmingly in existing smokers.

    “What we’re seeing is people transition from very harmful cigarette smoking to a much less harmful product in e-cigarettes or vaping, and that’s been going on for a few years, and we’re going to continue to see that, I would think,” Hart said.

    Youth smoking is down 8.1 percent from 12.9 percent the previous year, according to the study.