Smokefree 2025

In March 2011 the Government adopted the Smokefree 2025 goal for New Zealand. This was in response to the recommendations of a landmark Parliamentary inquiry by the Māori Affairs select committee.

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Where are we now?


Insights into Māori women smoking

To reduce the smoking rates for New Zealanders our approach has been based on international best practices. While these approaches have had a significant effect for most groups, the smoking rates for Māori remain relatively high.

The Ministry of Health has recently taken a new approach of 'client insights' to the problem of high Māori smoking rates, particularly through the search for a deeper understanding of some of the people at the centre of this issue, young Māori women.

Through the project ‘Addressing the challenge of young Māori women who smoke’ the Ministry used data, evidence and insights to find out about the barriers affecting young Māori women’s ability to quit smoking. This included:

  • Taking a look at the evidence of what works in smoking cessation.
  • Using data from Statistic’s New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) about the lives of young Māori women who smoke and making sense of that data through analytics.
  • Engaging with over 50 young Māori women, listening to the stories of their lives and their relationship with smoking.

From this project the Ministry has learnt a lot about the complexity of the lives of young Māori women, the things that challenge them and the strengths that uphold them and provide opportunities for change.

Read the reports and datasheet prepared by the Ministry:

This deeper understanding will allow the Ministry to take action to test and evaluate new services and approaches that directly relate to the lives and needs of those women, in supporting them to stop smoking.

We are now moving to the second phase of this project, applying the insights gained to co-design services that better match the lives and needs of young Māori women who smoke.

The Māori Affairs Committee’s report was clear that the term ‘smokefree’ was intended to communicate an aspirational goal and not a commitment to the banning of smoking altogether by 2025. On that basis, the Government agreed with the goal of reducing smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, thereby making New Zealand essentially a smokefree nation by 2025.


Achieving a smokefree 2025

The Government is determined to reduce the horrendous burden of death and disease caused by smoking.

Smokefree 2025 will be achieved by:

  • protecting children from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion
  • reducing the supply of, and demand for tobacco
  • providing the best possible support for quitting.

Better help for smokers to quit

The Ministry’s health target Better help for smokers to quit is a driver towards the aspirational goal of Smokefree 2025.

This target is designed to prompt health providers to routinely ask about smoking status as a clinical ‘vital sign’ and then to provide brief advice and offer quit support to current smokers. There is strong evidence that brief advice is effective at prompting quit attempts and long-term quit success.

Helping others to quit smoking e-learning resource

Any health provider wishing to become quit card provider can now do so by successfully completing a new ABC e-learning tool which will be launched 7 August 2014.

The e-learning resource shows a variety of health professionals entering into the ABC pathway conversation with their clients.

The new ABC online resource is available on the LearnOnline website. A user guide is also provided when you register.

Staying on track

The Government has set a long-term goal of reducing smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, thereby making New Zealand essentially a smokefree nation by 2025.

To achieve the long-term smokefree 2025 goal, by 2018:

  • daily smoking prevalence must fall to 10 percent
  • the Māori and Pacific rates should have halved from their 2011 levels.

These goals were set out in the Government Response to the Report of the Māori Affairs Committee on its Inquiry into the Tobacco Industry in Aotearoa and the Consequences of Tobacco Use for Māori.


Help make New Zealand smokefree

Some ways you can help include:

  • not smoking around children
  • making your car and house smokefree
  • talking to children about not starting smoking
  • encouraging others to quit
  • encouraging your local marae to be totally smokefree
  • organising a Worldwide Smokefree day event (May 31 annually).

For more information on being smokefree, see Quit smoking in the Your health section.


Tobacco Free Retailers

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand, accounting for around 4,300 to 4,700 deaths per year. When the deaths caused from exposure to second-hand smoke are included, this estimate increases to around 5,000 deaths per year.

Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that, when used as the manufacturer intends, kills over half its users.

A tobacco-free retailer is one that does not sell or stock tobacco products. However, some retailers may still choose to sell tobacco paraphernalia (rolling papers, filters and tobacco tins, etc). The Ministry encourages retailers, especially those close to where children congregate or pass on their way to and from school, to consider if they could also become a tobacco-free retailer.

Support a tobacco-free retailer — find one near you on the map.

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