Youth smoking declines

Last updated 15:16 13/03/2014

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Youth smoking is back on the decline, a new survey has found.

The latest Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Year 10 smoking survey survey shows 3.2 per cent of 14-15 year olds are smoking daily.

That compares to 4.1 per cent in 2012, which was unchanged from the previous year. It was the only year in the survey's 14-year history youth smoking rates had not dropped.

"It is great to see youth daily smoking is declining again," ASH director Stephanie Erick said.

"The results reinforce the idea that a smokefree New Zealand by 2025 isn't an intangible concept, it is something that's now within reach."

The focus for now would be to reduce smoking inequalities, after the survey found Maori daily smoking was at 8.5 per cent, she said.

The survey found 3.5 per cent of female students smoke daily, compared with 3 per cent of male students.

ASH would like to see tobacco taxes increased as well as plain packaging for tobacco being introduced in the next year, Erick said.

The survey takes an annual snapshot of smoking behaviour of Kiwi teenagers aged 14-15. 

Nearly 28,000 students took part in the latest survey.

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- Fairfax Media

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