Key 2021 Actions

Accelerating Progress Towards Smokefree 2025

Despite implementing all of the tobacco control policies recommended by WHO, over 490,000 adults  - 1 in 8 – continue to smoke cigarettes daily. For Māori it is as high as 1 in 3 and is falling far too slowly; for Pacifica the smoking prevalence is 1 in 5 and is not declining.  The health, financial and health service implications are huge.  Cigarette smoking is a major cause of inequality.

Progress required to reach Smokefree 2025


60,000 current cigarette smokers will need to quit every year if we are to achieve Smokefree 2025. Almost half need to be Māori and one in seven need to be Pacific.

Turn off the taps: helping 60,000 cigarette smokers to quit annually

Critical Next Steps

The Government called for a smokefree plan as an “immediate priority” in its pre-election Health Policy. Three priority actions identified by ASH, if well-resourced and implemented rapidly, will get New Zealand back on track to achieve Smokefree 2025.

ASH priorities for 2021

The three key priority actions are easy to implement, have wide support and will have big health, economic and environmental impacts. Together, they encourage and support cigarette smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives and will reignite a vibrant public movement for Smokefree 2025. Other measures which take more time to implement, but will have an impact in the longer term.

Targeting Māori, Pacific and low socio-economic groups will have the greatest impact in reducing inequality.  


Impact of interventions on reaching Smokefree 2025