New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey 2006

Published online: 
02 June 2007


The New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey (NZTUS) is the first nationally representative survey of tobacco use to be conducted in New Zealand. It is comprehensive, providing accurate and robust estimates of prevalence and smoking behaviour. The NZTUS is an essential part of the New Zealand Health Monitor and contributes vital information for the monitoring of tobacco use, consumption, behaviours and attitudes in New Zealand.

The NZTUS 2006 report presents information about all aspects of the survey, methodology and implementation. Descriptive statistics are reported by key demographics, which include gender, ethnicity and age-group. Where possible, statistics are broken down by level of socioeconomic deprivation, smoking status, age stage, education, occupation, income and DHB.

A summary of findings presented in the document are outlined below by chapter:

Prevalence of smoking:

  • The prevalence of current smokers in New Zealand in 2006 was 23.5%
  • Smoking rates are highest among Māori, 45.8% and Pacific, 36.2% ethnic groups
  • Highest rates of smoking are among those aged 20-24 years, 30.3%; smoking rates are also high among 25-29 year olds, 28.7% and 15-19 year olds, 26.8%
  • People in more deprived socioeconomic quintiles demonstrate higher rates of smoking compared to less deprived areas, 29.2%, in NZDep01 quintile 4 and 34.2% in NZDep01 quintile 5.
  • The prevalence of smoking is highest among those who have had no educational qualifications, 39.2%
  • District Health Boards with the highest smoking rates include Lakes 34.3%, Northland 35.7%,Tairawhiti 32.1%, Whanganui 35.3% and Southland 31.2%
  • Almost half, 42.9% of smokers purchase their cigarettes from dairies or other shops, followed by supermarkets (25.4%) and petrol stations (23.2%).

Exposure to Second-hand Smoke:

  • The prevalence of others smoking inside the home in New Zealand is 12.5%
  • Significantly more Māori report others smoking inside the home, 23.0% compared to 10.9% non-Māori
  • Around 14.9% of people report others as smoking inside the car
  • Significantly more Māori identify others as smoking in the car, 30.1% compared to 12.6% non-Māori
  • The prevalence of smoking inside at work is around 8.1%; whilst 89.4% report no one smoking indoors at work
  • Plant machine operators and assemblers identified the largest percentage of indoor smoking at work, 10.6% followed by trades workers 9.5%
  • Around 7.4% of people report others smoking indoors in public venues

Cessation and Behaviour Support:

  • Around 65% of smokers in New Zealand have made a quit attempt in the last 5 years.
  • High percentages of Māori, (67.8%) and Pacific smokers (59.9%) have made quit attempts in the last 5 years.
  • Of smokers who had ever deliberately quit for more than a week, 36.3% did not make any quit attempts and around 33.4% quit once in the previous 12 months.
  • Around 26.0% of smokers received some form of advice on how to quit smoking and 26.5% of smokers used some form of quitting product during their last quit attempt.
  • Around 38.0% of people agree with the statement that smokers who fail to quit do not really want to quit, compared to 27.5% who disagree.
  • Around 38.0% of people disagree with


the statement that people should be able to quit without the help of programmes or products, compared to around 28.0% who agree with it.

  • The mean age of smoking initiation among New Zealand youth is 14.6 years.
  • Most youth smokers (74.2%) purchase cigarettes themselves.
  • Two thirds, (66.7%) of youth smokers had their first cigarette with friends
  • Significantly higher percentages of youths who smoke daily, report mothers, fathers, siblings or girlfriends and boyfriends as being smokers, compared to youths who have never smoked.
  • Significantly higher percentages of Māori youth report mothers, fathers, siblings or girlfriends and boyfriends as being smokers, compared to non-Māori.
  • Overall, the majority of youth, (72.3%) would not smoke if they had their lives over.
  • Overall, around 85.0% of youth reported that they would not be smokers in their 20s.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    02 June 2007
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-19138-7 (print), 978-0-478-19141-7 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2007. New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey 2006. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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