gsthr logo
Quick links to detailed datasheets for New Zealand at

Smoking in New Zealand

In 2016/17 in New Zealand, 15.7% of adults were current smokers, down from 20.1% in 2006/07. There has been a steady decline in smoking prevalence during this period. Current smoking rates are declining for younger adults, but there has been no significant change for adults aged 35 years and over since 2011/12. For men, current smoking prevalence has reduced steadily over the last ten-year period of the survey, from 21% in 2006/7 to 17% in 2016/17. For women, the decrease has been from 19% to 14% over the same period. The most recent health survey included around 15,000 adults, aged 15 and over, in face to face interviews.

Read articles from New Zealand

April 22, 2024 by

Who pays the price for New Zealand's tobacco backflip?

Repealing the Smokefree Act in Aotearoa New Zealand benefits the government by preserving tobacco excise revenue but also favors the tobacco industry. Despite strong opposition, the government repealed the Act, jeopardizing efforts to reduce smoking rates and health inequalities. The legislation aimed to create a tobacco-free generation through denicotinisation, limiting tobacco retailers, and banning cigarette sales to those born after 2008. Repealing the Act is criticized for prioritizing short-term economic gains over long-term public health benefits, disproportionately affecting Māori. The decision has been condemned as harmful to public health progress and economic well-being. Leaders emphasize the significance of ambitious tobacco policies for health, economic gains, and equity.

April 08, 2024 by

How New Zealand adults who smoked understand novel tobacco ‘endgame’ policies. Qualitative analysis using the associative propositional evaluation model to determine comprehension.

Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of early death. In 2022, New Zealand legislated to introduce three previously untried tobacco ‘endgame’ policies aimed at reducing demand for cigarettes and restricting supply. This study aimed to determine how a key stakeholder group, NZ adults with no intent or low belief that they could stop smoking by 2025, understood proposals to restrict nicotine in combustible tobacco and the number of tobacco retailers to a very low level, annually raise the age of purchase, set minimum prices, and ban filters.

March 25, 2024 by

New Zealand will ban disposable e-cigarettes in bid to stop minors taking up habit

New Zealand said Wednesday it will ban disposable e-cigarettes, or vapes, and raise financial penalties for those who sell such products to minors. The move comes less than a month after the government repealed a unique law enacted by the previous left-leaning government to phase out tobacco smoking by imposing a lifetime ban on young people buying cigarettes. New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister Casey Costello said Wednesday that e-cigarettes remain “a key smoking cessation device” and the new regulations will help prevent minors from taking up the habit.

March 14, 2024 by

Should the Government unban nicotine pouches?

The concept of nicotine pouches has seen a mixed response from the public and experts alike. Posts have been making the rounds on social media, influencers promoting flavoured products such as “zyn”, “buff”, and “ace” as a method to quit smoking and vaping. Public health experts are concerned, Sydney University’s Becky Freeman saying that the “wellness” influencers who promote these products are often unclear that its sponsored content. The sale of nicotine pouches was banned in New Zealand by the Labour Government in 2020, but importing from overseas remains legal as long as they are not sold on.

February 16, 2024 by

Australia’s Vape Prohibition Replicates Drug-War Disasters

Australia's stringent anti-vaping stance has resulted in a thriving illicit market for vaping products, echoing the failures of drug bans in the past. Over 90% of Australia's 1.7 million adult vapers have turned to the illicit market due to harsh restrictions that require a nicotine prescription to vape legally. The illicit market in Australia is estimated to import 120 million unregulated vapes from China annually, with products sold openly without consumer protections. The profitability of illegal vapes has led to an intensifying turf war among organized trafficking networks, resulting in acts of violence and exploitation of marginalized recruits.

February 14, 2024 by

New Zealand expert advises Australian policymakers on vaping

DURING A WEEK-LONG VISIT TO AUSTRALIA, Action for Smokefree 2025 (ASH) has been engaging with Australian policymakers to develop a best-practice vaping regulatory framework. Smoking and vaping policies were very similar in Australia and New Zealand until 2020 when the four major political parties in New Zealand accepted vaping as an important tool to accelerate the decline in smoking rates. Since 2020, New Zealand has had a regulated vaping market that allowed a wide range of vapes to be sold as adult consumer products.

February 01, 2024 by

Health experts want ministers to disclose tobacco industry links

Public health experts are calling on the Government to be totally transparent on any past or present dealings its MPs have had with tobacco companies. The coalition is set to repeal the previous government's smokefree legislation, which would have banned the sale of tobacco to anyone born from January 1, 2009; cut the number of retailers; and de-nicotinised cigarettes. The Government is vowing to still meet Smokefree 2025 targets, but reasons it gave for repealing the previous legislation included that it could lead to a rise in crime and a tobacco black market.

January 26, 2024 by

Tax Freeze for Cigarettes in NZ First Minister's Plans

NZ First's Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has a lot of ideas about the regulation of tobacco - many of them will be controversial.

January 26, 2024 by

ASH Says Current Policies Working to Make Smoke Free Target

Our decline in smoking in the past four years is extraordinary – equivalent to what took two decades to achieve. New Zealand has recently had some of the most dramatic decreases in smoking in the world, including for Māori and highly deprived groups.

January 26, 2024 by

ASH Says Current Policies Working to Make Smoke Free Target

Our decline in smoking in the past four years is extraordinary – equivalent to what took two decades to achieve. New Zealand has recently had some of the most dramatic decreases in smoking in the world, including for Māori and highly deprived groups.