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The Otago region has had the largest percentage decrease in the number of regular smokers, according to regional Census results released today.
The Otago region had 7359 fewer smokers in 2013 than it did in 2006, a decline of 25.6 per cent.
The proportion of adults in Otago who regularly smoke fell to 14.0 per cent, down from 19.5 per cent in 2006, Census general manager Sarah Minson said.
Among people in the region aged 15-19, the proportion of regular smokers fell from 15.7 per cent in 2006 to 8.2 per cent last year. This represents a decrease of 1167 people.
In line with national trends, the number of people who identified with a religion declined in Otago since the last Census.
In 2013, 11.0 per cent fewer people said they had a religion, and 28.3 per cent more people checked the 'no religion' box.
In terms of employment, the biggest industries in Otago were retail trade, which accounted for 11.0 per cent of the employed population, and health care and social assistance, which accounted for 10.3 per cent.