© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Smoking: Not New Zealand's future

Delphine Herbert
No branded packaging
No more branded cigarette packages  Creative Commons

Smoking rates in New Zealand continue to reduce, with 17 percent of adults smoking compared to 25 percent in 1996, so are we on track to making the 2025 smokefree goal?

Smoke free Manager Vivien Daley, says the 2025 goal will encourage people to quit smoking. She says with the prices going up to around $26 for a pack of Marlboro cigarettes in Auckland and  tobacco getting harder to get it provides motivation for people. Vivien explains that smoke free New Zealand do understand how hard it can be to quit.

“Nicotine is a very addictive drug and once it’s got it’s claws into you it’s hard to get out.”  

Daley says they’re targeting communities where smoking is more prevalent such as Maori, Pasifika and people with mental health issues.   

“It’s in groups like that where smoking is almost like the culture of people and that’s really hard for people to break out of that, so we do put a lot of resources  into helping to provide support for people in those groups, where it’s not only their smoking but they are basically surrounded by people who smoke.”

Smoke Free NZ Tobacco Control Manager Zoe Hawke, says their major drive at the moment is to see change around supply especially in those Maori and Pasifika communities

“At the moment we have dairies on every corner selling cigarettes next to the bread and the milk and we have more of those out in Maori communities. If you look at our smoking rates for Maori they are higher than any other population group so we would like to see cigarettes taken away from our communities in regards to diaries and gas stations and put somewhere a bit out of the way so it’s a bit harder to get to.”

Hawke’s concern is with people who are trying to quit.

“They often relapse because they know how close smokes are for purchasing and they know every time they pass their local dairy they know that they are there calling them and often you will hear people talking about them knowing they are there and so close is what has caused a relapse.”

Our nicotine content in cigarettes in New Zealand is one of the highest in the world - Viven Daley Smokefree New Zealand

Daley says people are now using E-cigarettes to help them quit.

She explains that using an E-cigarette instead of a normal cigarette is better for your health.

“If you are a person who is struggling with quitting using an E- cigarette is an option, but I would suggest if people do that they see it as a journey to stop smoking completely because even if you're using an E- cigarette you're still addicted to the nicotine, you're still paying out for it all the time.“  

Smoke free NZ is confident the country will reach the 2025 target but says it’ll only happen if dairies and petrol stations do their bit by refusing to sell smokes or making them less obvious in their shops.