New Zealand has a goal of being Smokefree by 2025. This means that almost no New Zealanders will be smoking. We will see our children and grandchildren free from tobacco.
The Government set the Smokefree 2025 goal in 2011 due to Parliament’s Māori Affairs Select Committee's recommendations.
The Committee found that tobacco industry tactics were having a devastating impact on our health and wellbeing. Māori have been targeted and exploited by the tobacco industry for decades.
Because of Smokefree 2025 and tobacco laws, far fewer New Zealanders are smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke. The daily smoking rate has decreased from 18.3% in 2007 to 11.6% in 2019/2020. And smoking among children has dropped to the lowest ever recorded rate.
But even with this decrease, tobacco continues to take a huge toll on the health and well-being of New Zealanders:
- Thousands of young adults take up smoking every year.
- Much higher smoking rates result in worse health for Māori, Pasifika, and socially and economically disadvantaged people.
These health inequities are unfair and can be reduced by the right Government policies. But we all need to play a part.