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State of Smoking in New Zealand

Smoking rate: 16.3%. Approximately 600 thousand people age 15 and older currently smoke. Tobacco consumption has decreased on average 6.3% annually between 2010 and 2014. More than half of both male (55.3%) and female (56.1%) of smokers age 18 and up report smoking hand-rolled cigarettes.

Smoking Rate:

16.3 percent

Party to the world health organization framework convention on tobacco control (who FCTC):


Since the who FCTC:

Regulatory Environment:

New Zealand is one the most heavily regulated countries, when it comes to tobacco. The Smoke-free Environments Act (SFEA) of 1990 imposed a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, including a ban on the display of all tobacco products at points of sale. Smoking in public, indoor places is also widely prohibited. Non-nicotine e-cigarettes are unregulated in New Zealand; however, because nicotine is a scheduled substance under New Zealand’s Medicines Act, sale and supply of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products, and snus are outlawed by the SFEA. In 2017, the Ministry of Health recommended amending the SFEA to allow for the legal sale of e-cigarettes with restrictions. These recommendations also outlined a pre-market approval process for reduced-risk and smokeless tobacco products.

Media Dialogue:

New Zealanders are well educated on the dangers of smoking. Media coverage includes the benefits of smoke-free environments and the use of vaping and e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to cigarettes.

Views of Alternatives to Smoking:

Vaping products and e-cigarettes are used frequently in New Zealand and covered in a relatively positive way by the media.

By the Numbers:

“To help people quit effectively, we need a range of products and support so people can find what works best for them. Different things will work for different people.”

– Marewa Glover, PhD, professor of public health