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Smoking survey shows daily youth smoking not declining
The Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Year 10 smoking survey shows youth smoking has plateaued.
ASH says this shows urgent action is needed to meet the Government’s target of a smokefree New Zealand by 2025.
The number of Year 10 students smoking each day is 5.5 percent – virtually unchanged from 5.6 percent a year ago and the smallest decline since the survey began in 1999.
“The results show that we cannot afford to be complacent about policies and strategies to reduce youth smoking.
“We need to catch up by removing tobacco displays, adopting plain packaging of tobacco products and continuing to push anti-tobacco messages through mass media campaigns,” said ASH director Ben Youdan.
In March this year New Zealand adopted an ambitious plan to be smokefree by 2025.
The only other country with a similar policy is Finland, which plans to be smokefree by 2040.
“A big investment is helping smokers quit, but without building up efforts like mass media campaigns aimed at young people these quitters will continue to be replaced with children taking up smoking.
“The smokefree 2025 goal creates every opportunity to keep driving down youth smoking and this must be seized if we are to succeed,” said Mr Youdan.
The survey has run each year since 1999, when daily smoking was 15.6 percent. Over 32 000 students took part making it one of the largest youth smoking surveys in the world.
View the survey results.
Date: 2 June 2011
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