Major Shift in Smoking Habits Among New Zealand Teenagers

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Major Shift in Smoking Habits Among New Zealand Teenagers
New Zealand teens' e-cigarette use declines significantly, marking a crucial turning point in youth smoking habits, according to recent survey.

According to a report by the New Zealand technology newspaper Tech Times on December 10th, an investigation conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a New Zealand anti-smoking organization, has observed a significant shift in smoking habits among New Zealand teenagers. The survey findings indicate a notable decline in the frequency of e-cigarette use among students.


A survey has revealed that the habit of regularly using e-cigarettes has seen a significant decrease among 10 students, dropping from 18.2% in 2022 to 16.4% in 2023.


This decline marks a pivotal turning point, reflecting a departure from the previous upward trend in adolescent e-cigarette usage. The percentage of teenagers who vape e-cigarettes daily has now stabilized at 10%, while the number of individuals experimenting with e-cigarette usage has dropped from 40.1% to 37.5% during the same period.


The director of the anti-smoking organization, Ben Youdan, expressed encouragement regarding this result, attributing the positive trend to the control measures implemented in recent years. However, he emphasized the need for continued efforts, acknowledging that although there has been evident progress, reducing the prevalence of e-cigarette usage among adolescents remains crucial.


According to You Dan, "Despite the fact that the rate of teenagers using e-cigarettes is still higher than expected, it is encouraging to see fewer young people getting involved in using e-cigarettes and experimenting with tobacco products.


Anti-smoking organizations also expressed satisfaction with the declining trend in smoking. Only 1.2% of respondents reported daily smoking, while the number of non-smokers has skyrocketed to 87.8%, indicating a clear rejection of tobacco products among New Zealand teenagers.


The investigation also highlighted some noteworthy trends within the Māori community. The proportion of Māori who have never smoked has seen an increase, currently standing at 77.7%, with a growth rate of 4%. However, concerning is the fact that Māori girls are 2.5 times more likely to use e-cigarettes compared to their peers.


Fay Selby-Law, the director of the Anti-Smoking Action Group and the head of Maori SUDI prevention services, emphasized the importance of intensifying efforts to prevent Maori youth from smoking.


Selby-Law argues, "While e-cigarettes have assisted many adults in quitting smoking, the pressing issue lies in keeping these devices out of the hands of young individuals.


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