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NZ smoking prevalence at 15.1 percent

| December 12, 2013

The prevalence of smoking in New Zealand has fallen by more than a quarter in six years, according to a story by Martin Johnston for the New Zealand Herald.

Data from this year’s census showed that 15.1 percent of people aged 15 or older smoked daily, down from 20.7 percent in the previous (2006) census.

The Quitline called this a monumental reduction and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said it was a huge decline.

Statistics NZ data indicates that the smoking prevalence among Maori declined to 32.7 percent last year, from 42.2 percent in the previous census.

Among non-Maori, it fell to 12.6 percent this year, from 17.8 percent in 2006.

Otago University public health expert, associate professor Nick Wilson, said the overall reduction in the number of smokers seemed credible given the decline in national tobacco sales. Sales fell by 20 percent, to 2.07 million kg between 2006 and 2012.

The government’s official target is that New Zealand will be substantially smoke-free by 2025: subsequently smoke-free being defined as a prevalence of less than 5 percent.

The mid-term target is 10 percent by 2018.

Category: Breaking News

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