Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa congratulates everyone who is trying to stop smoking or has recently kicked the addiction.
“Today is World Smokefree Day and as the Government works towards its Smokefree 2025 goal, the latest figures show under 14 percent of New Zealanders smoke on a daily basis,” Jenny Salesa said.
“We have seen a five percent reduction in daily smoking rates over the past decade.
“Each one percent reduction equates to over 35 000 smokers - so that is something we should be celebrating.
“But while 85 percent of New Zealanders are no longer smoking, Maori and Pacific smoking rates are still very high. 33 percent of Maori and 22 percent of Pacific people still smoke on a daily basis.
“The Government is committed to Smokefree 2025. We acknowledge it will be challenging, so we are developing an Action Plan to help us reach the target.
“The action plan will take into account evidence-based initiatives as well as the evaluation findings into the consequences of tobacco excise increases on Maori and Pacific, low income earners and young people.
“The plan will also consider how best to apply risk-proportionate regulation across all tobacco products including smoked tobacco, smokeless tobacco and vaping products.
“Vaping is less harmful than smoking and adult smokers who have tried other methods may choose to consider switching to vaping if they are struggling to quit.
“The Government is here to support and encourage people to make the often tough decision to stop smoking.
“Most people want to stop smoking for themselves, their children and their family or whanau.
“It can take some smokers up to 14 attempts before they kick the habit. There are many effective local stop smoking services that provide face to face support as well as nationwide Quitline.
“I encourage smokers to get the support they need to stop smoking. It will make you and your family healthier, it will save you money and quite possibly save your life,” Jenny Salesa said.