Smoking Rates Drop but E-cigarette Use Increases in New Zealand

Smoking Rates Drop but E-cigarette Use Increases in New Zealand
Smoking rates in New Zealand reach historic low of 8%, but Maori daily illness rates remain high at 19.9%. Tobacco and e-cigarette use is increasing.

The number of people smoking daily has reached its lowest point in history, decreasing from 9.4% at this time last year to 8%. However, data from the annual health survey in New Zealand shows that the daily illness rate among Maori people is still much higher at 19.9%, although this is lower than the rate of 22.3%.

Although the number of smokers has decreased, the use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes continues to grow, rising from 6% last year to 8.3% this year, with the highest usage rate among those aged 18 to 24.

Hāpai Te Hauora, a Maori public health organization, says that more work needs to be done to help the country achieve its 5% smoke-free target by 2025.

The smoking rate among non-profit people is 7.2%, and Hāpai Te Hauora is urging the government to seriously address the issue of inequality for Māori and Pacific Islanders. CEO Selah Hart stated that there are various measures, including legislative steps, that can restrict the sale and supply of tobacco.

Although smoking rates have decreased, the use of e-cigarettes and vaping has skyrocketed, particularly among the 18 to 24 age-group.

A total of 22.9% of e-cigarette users are of Pākēha descent, 21.7% are Pacific Islanders, and 17.6% are Māori.

Hart said that electronic cigarettes are a double-edged sword: they are a useful device for quitting smoking, but they also create a habit for those who have never smoked before.

They simply consumed nicotine... Therefore, on one hand, this is a remarkable achievement because we have eliminated a large amount of chemicals that entered the bodies of these whānau," said Hart.

We need to re-examine our strategy now and understand what we are doing to protect and keep away those whānau who have never smoked but are now using e-cigarettes, from these potential nicotine addiction devices.


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