• May 26, 2024

New Zealand Smoking at All-Time Low

 New Zealand Smoking at All-Time Low
Image: kwanchaift

The smoking rate among New Zealand adults has dropped to an all-time low, reports the New Zealand Herald, citing data from a new Ministry of Health survey. The poll also revealed that one in 10 Kiwi adults vape daily, with rates highest among young people and Maori.

The annual New Zealand Health Survey recorded 6.8 percent of adults as being daily smokers, down from 8.6 percent last year.

Daily smoking also declined sharply among ethnic groups, with Maori’ rates dropping from 37.7 percent to 17.1 percent and Pacific peoples’ rates dropping from 22.6 percent to 6.4 percent.

Daily vaping among New Zealanders increased from 2.6 percent in 2017-2019 to 9.7 percent this year. Young people were most likely to vape daily (25.2) percent and young Maori had the highest rates (23.5 percent) among different ethnic groups.

Letitia Harding, chief executive of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, described the doubling of daily vaping among teenagers as a public health crisis. “What we are witnessing is an epidemic that needs immediate attention to address such alarming statistics,” she was quoted as saying.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA), by contrast, credited vaping for helping drive down New Zealand’s smoking rates.

“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 CAPHRA Executive Coordinator Nancy Loucas.

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