Dramatic drop in number of young people and Maori men smoking

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2017, 11:06AM
The overall smoking rate has dropped from 20 percent ten years ago, to around sixteen percent this year. (Photo: Stock xchang)
The overall smoking rate has dropped from 20 percent ten years ago, to around sixteen percent this year. (Photo: Stock xchang)

Dramatic drop in number of young people and Maori men smoking

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2017, 11:06AM

New figures from the Ministry of Health show dramatic falls in both Maori males and young people in the last year.

Experts point to an increased awareness of the benefits of not smoking and rises in price due to higher taxes.

Latest official figures suggest that fewer than a third of Maori men now smoke.

A year ago the percentage for the demographic stood at 37 but that number has now dropped dramatically to 32 percent.

The Clinical Director of Quitline, Sharryn Gannon, said advertising campaigns against smoking targeted at Maori are having a big effect.

"[It's both] the cost of cigarettes and the messages that people are getting about not smoking, so that they will be able to live well with their family and whanau."

There are fewer cigarette butts being left behind the bike-sheds, as a growing majority of teenagers shun smoking altogether.

The data also shows 8000 15 to 17 year-olds are smokers, compared to 12,000 just a year ago.

Gannon said the average smoker picks up the habit at age 14.

The overall smoking rate has dropped from 20 percent ten years ago, to around sixteen percent this year.