Topics: Health, Youth

Youth smoking at all-time low

By Jessica Tyson
  • North Island: West Coast
  • North Island: East Coast

New research has found youth smoking is at an all-time low and rates have dropped by two thirds in under a decade.

Results from the 2016 ASH survey released today show that two per cent of year ten students smoke daily, compared to 15 per cent in 1999.

ASH Programme Manager, Boyd Broughton says, “The decline in smoking for year ten students is one of the big success stories of the smoke-free movement in New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, the survey found Māori students were more than five times more likely than European students to smoke daily.

Broughton is urging parents to act as role models for rangatahi, as the country works towards a smoke-free 2025.

“It's now time for our parents to support the ambitions of our future leaders to live smoke-free. Being auahi kore is the best thing they can do for their own future and a smoke-free future for our young Māori.'

“Our pakeke (parents) are crucial role models. Year in, year out, young people have demonstrated via this research that they get it.”

The survey included over 25,000 year 10 students and is the largest survey of its kind in New Zealand.