ASH welcomes the Government’s draft Smokefree Plan of Action released today and congratulates Minister Verrall on her leadership. Cigarette smoking kills 12 New Zealanders every day and is a key driver of inequality in our society.
There are only 4 years remaining to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal where less than 5% of adults smoke cigarettes. Except for the wealthiest fifth of the population, we are not on track for this goal; 500,000 adults still smoke cigarettes.
ASH Director, Deborah Hart believes that 3 immediate actions will help reach the goal. “Because of the looming deadline for the Smokefree 2025 goal, 60,000 smokers need to quit every year, up from the 20,000 currently quitting. Helping Māori, Pacific and poor people to quit will make a huge impact in reducing inequality as well as ensuring we meet the Smokefree 2025 goal.
The evidence identifies the three most immediate things the government should do as:
- Invest in mass media campaigns to encourage more cigarette smokers to make more quit attempts;
- Support community-led initiatives such as Vape to Save; and
- Increase the use of less harmful and cheaper alternatives.
ASH understands that the government accepts these three priorities as they are easy to implement, have wide support, and will have big health, economic and environmental impacts. Together, they will reinvigorate the Smokefree 2025 goal. The three priorities must therefore be fully funded in the upcoming budget.
The overall focus in the Plan of Action on reducing affordability, accessibility and attractiveness of cigarette smoking is important. The proposal to remove filters from cigarettes, for example, will deliver both health and environmental benefits. All proposed measures will help reduce cigarette smoking in the longer term.
“The Plan of Action, leading with mass media campaigns, supporting communities, and promoting less harmful alternative products, such as vaping, signals the world’s most ambitious plan for a Smokefree nation. The plan continues Aotearoa-New Zealand’s history of strong public health leadership and could give us a good chance of achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal.”
- Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Aotearoa New Zealand causes over 4,000 deaths each year (12 deaths every day).
- Since 2000, cigarette smoking has caused approximately 100,000 deaths.
- Around 1 in 8 adults smoke cigarettes daily, but this rises to 1 in 3 among Māori.
- On average, cigarette smokers consume 10 cigarettes a day (costing $6,500 a year).
- People smoke cigarettes for the nicotine, but die from the smoke from burning tobacco.
- Cigarette smoking imposes huge financial and health burdens on the poorest New Zealanders: in the poorest fifth of the population, 1 in 4 adults smoke.
- Cigarette smoking is a key driver of inequality. The most wealthy group of people have already reached the Smokefree 2025 goal. The poorest cigarette smokers are caught in a cycle of poverty.
Latest NewsSee all news >
ASH talks to Newshub investigation on illicit tobacco
06 September 2022
Newshub investigation finds black market tobacco being sold online out of homes https://www....
Tobacco control: getting to the finish line
14 May 2022
Emeritus Professors Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita write in the Lancet urging the adopti...
Daily teen vaping increases while teen smoking falls
20 April 2022
The NZ Herald today reported today on the youth vaping and smoking rates, quoting the most r...
A frontline smoking cessation worker tells Waatea News that the Government’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan is a bold move that will save Māori lives.
09 March 2022
Rebecca Ruwhiu-Collins is interviewed by Waatea News on teen smoking rates among Māori and w...
Smokers more at risk from covid-19
07 March 2022
RNZ reports that "in case you needed another reason to stub out those cigarettes, research s...
Prof McRobbie talks youth smoking with Waatea News
02 March 2022
Professor Hayden McRobbie talks with Waatea News about youth smoking. "We have to focus on ...
Clearing the haze: New stats give us a better picture of youth vaping
28 February 2022
The Drug Foundation blog: "Working in the drug space, we’re used to misinformation clouding...