The number of Year 10 pupils who smoke every day has dropped,
new figures released today show.
Only 3.2 per cent of pupils in the 14- to 15-year-old age
group smoked daily last year, compared to 4.1 per cent the
year before, Action on Smoking and Health's (ASH) Year 10
smoking survey found.
"It is great to see youth daily smoking is declining again.
The previous survey was the first time in the survey's
history that they didn't decrease," said ASH director
Maori daily smoking remained higher at 8.5 per cent, but well
below the 30.3 per cent from the first survey in 1999.
"We need to be mindful of smoking inequalities and it must be
a focus to reduce this as much as possible," Ms Erick said.
Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said the results were
"great news", however, she cautioned there was no room for
"We must continue to do everything we can through proactive
lobbying, cessation support, excise taxes, plain packaging
and other legislation to ensure that we send a clear message
to tobacco companies," she said.
"We want to rid our country of this product that kills 13 New
Zealanders a day and 5000 of us each year. I look forward to
the day we reach our goal of becoming a Smokefree
Aotearoa-New Zealand by 2025."
The drop in smoking among teenagers could be at least
partially linked to the continuing rise in tobacco prices,
"Price is obviously a very big deterrent but it is
particularly a deterrent for youth smoking," a spokesman
"If it's too expensive to buy in the first place then they
don't try it as an experiment, and if they don't try it, they
don't become hooked and they don't become smokers."