Our vision is a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.
This vision has become a global momentum. Smoking is the most important preventable cause of death and illness. Globally, one out of six people die from tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. In response, the World Health Organisation has developed the world’s first modern-day public health treaty in 2005, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. It provides an internationally co-ordinated response to combating the tobacco epidemic, and sets out specific steps for governments addressing tobacco use, including to:
• Adopt tax and price measures to reduce tobacco consumption;
• Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
• Create smoke-free work and public spaces;
• Put prominent health warnings on tobacco packages;
• Combat illicit trade in tobacco products.
There are currently 180 member states that have ratified the treaty including New Zealand. It is a key governing policy for all tobacco control activities in New Zealand.
In New Zealand, smoking-related illness or death accounts for 4,500 to 5,000 people annually. Māori are disproportionately over-represented in these mortality statistics. In 2011, the New Zealand government set a goal of becoming a smokefree nation ( or reducing smoking prevalence to <5 %) by 2025. The goal was made after forty-two recommendations from the Māori Affairs Committee Report, following an extensive inquiry into the tobacco industry and the consequences of tobacco use among Māori in 2010. Of these forty-two recommendations some progress has been made and, in combination with adequate cessation services, the implementation of such policies have effectively reduced tobacco consumption. Tobacco retail displays were banned in 2011. The New Zealand government introduced a major tobacco excise tax increase of 24% on loose leaf tobacco products and 10% on manufactured cigarettes in 2010, followed by an annual 10% increase on all tobacco products until 2016. In early 2014, the Smokefree Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill passed its first reading and is currently under deliberation by the Health Select Committee.
We must continue to progress with these measures. This website outlines how ASH aims to contribute to the vision of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.