Smokefree New Zealand The countdown to 2025
What is Smokefree 2025?
Nearly 85%66 of New Zealanders are smokefree – that means most of us are choosing not to smoke. The New Zealand Government has set a goal so that by 2025 fewer than 5% of New Zealanders will be smokers. This will be achieved by:
- protecting children from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion
- reducing the supply of, and demand for tobacco
- providing the best possible support for quitting.
It’s not about banning smoking. It’s about taking action against tobacco so that by 2025, hardly anyone will smoke.
Being smokefree and having smokefree environments help support the health and wellbeing of our families and whānau. We know tobacco kills, so it makes sense.
- You will be healthier.
- There is less chance your children will smoke.
- You won’t be breathing in second-hand smoke – in New Zealand approximately 500 people die prematurely due to second-hand smoke and globally this is estimated to be 600,000 people every year.67
- You will save money by not buying cigarettes or tobacco – lots of money!
- You will not be supporting an industry that contributes to about 6 million deaths globally each year.68, 69
In October 2017 the Ministry of Health put out a position statement that said it considers vaping products have the potential to make a contribution to the Smokefree 2025 goal and could disrupt the significant inequities that are present. Learn more about vaping at vapingfacts.health.nz and the Ministry of Health website.
Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan
The Ministry of Health ran a six week consultation (which closed on 31 May 2021) requesting proposals/feedback from New Zealanders on a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. Many people and organisations shared their thoughts on the next steps towards better supporting more New Zealanders to stay smokefree, quit smoking tobacco or help them move to less harmful alternatives.
The submissions are now being analysed and a final Action Plan will be published in due course.
How it began
In 2010 the Māori Affairs Select Committee began an inquiry into the tobacco industry and the effects of tobacco use on Māori. The Inquiry looked at how the tobacco industry had encouraged Māori to smoke and the impact of smoking on Māori health.
- while overall smoking rates were reducing, the rates among Māori and Pacific peoples were increasing.
- in particular, Māori women have among the highest lung cancer rates in the world.
- tobacco-related illnesses like emphysema, cancer and heart disease have terrible effects not just on an individual, but the whole whānau.
- smoking has a devastating effect on young and unborn children.
- the cultural cost of tobacco to Māori includes the premature loss of kuia and kaumātua, taking away the opportunity for cultural traditions, knowledge and histories to be passed on to younger generations.
For these reasons, and many more, the Inquiry outlined measures “to remove tobacco from our country’s future in order to preserve Māori culture for younger generations.”70 It was because of this inquiry the Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand 2025 goal was set.
You can read the full Māori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry Report here.
You can read the Government’s response to the inquiry here.
You can learn more about Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand 2025 here.
How can I get involved?
This website and a range of services in your community is a great place to start to make Smokefree 2025 a reality.
- Have your say on the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan - consultation is open until 31st May.
- become informed about the health effects of smoking and smoking in general
- learn about vaping and how it can help some people to stop smoking
- get support to stop smoking
- help someone else to stop smoking
- make your community smokefree
- protect your family from second-hand smoke.