Smoking is a leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in New Zealand and is a major contributor to health inequalities. The need for collecting accurate and consistent information on the prevalence of smoking is important in order to describe and monitor the burden of tobacco use in the New Zealand population along with responses to a changing tobacco control environment.
The purpose of this document is to:
- describe definitions of smoking status as used by three major national surveys in New Zealand and to illustrate how these definitions compare nationally
- describe definitions of smoking status used by national surveys in Australia, Canada, USA, the UK and to compare these against New Zealand definitions
- briefly describe national and international surveys, highlighting differences in age structures
- provide explanation around international comparisons of smoking prevalence with New Zealand