New Zealand Teenagers Report Major Shift in Smoking Habits
A recent survey conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a New Zealand anti-smoking organization, has revealed a significant decline in e-cigarette use among New Zealand teenagers. This marks a crucial turning point in youth smoking habits.
The survey findings indicate a notable decrease in the frequency of e-cigarette use among students. The habit of regularly using e-cigarettes has seen a significant drop from 18.2% in 2022 to 16.4% in 2023.
This decline signifies a departure from the previous upward trend in adolescent e-cigarette usage. The percentage of teenagers who vape e-cigarettes daily has now stabilized at 10%, while the number of individuals experimenting with e-cigarette usage has decreased from 40.1% to 37.5% during the same period.
Director of the anti-smoking organization, Ben Youdan, expressed encouragement regarding this result, attributing the positive trend to the control measures implemented in recent years. However, he emphasized the need for continued efforts, acknowledging that reducing the prevalence of e-cigarette usage among adolescents remains crucial.
The survey also highlighted some noteworthy trends within the Māori community. The proportion of Māori who have never smoked has seen an increase, currently standing at 77.7%, with a growth rate of 4%. However, concerning is the fact that Māori girls are 2.5 times more likely to use e-cigarettes compared to their peers.
Fay Selby-Law, the director of the Anti-Smoking Action Group and the head of Maori SUDI prevention services, emphasized the importance of intensifying efforts to prevent Maori youth from smoking.
Societies are overall expressing satisfaction with the declining trend in smoking. Only 1.2% of respondents reported daily smoking, while the number of non-smokers has risen to 87.8%, indicating a clear rejection of tobacco products among New Zealand teenagers.