STATE OF SMOKING IN NEW ZEALAND - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

State of smoking in

New Zealand

Member of the

New Zealand Smoking by the Numbers

Smoking Reduction

Smoking rates decreased from 20.1% in 2007 to 16.3% in 2016.

Tobacco Types

The most common type of tobacco is boxed cigarettes at 78%, followed by hand-rolled cigarettes, and then cigarillos.

Tobacco Deaths

The number of tobacco related deaths has decreased from 196 to 100 per 100,000 from 1990 to 2017. With men decreasing 235 to 119 and women 159 to 81.

Breast v Lung Cancer in Women (Deaths, 2017)

Breast: 1.84%, Lung: 1.03%

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.
“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

Public Smoking


Banned in all public spaces.

Point of sale Displays


Advertising ban and ban of tobacco displays in stores.

Branded Packs


All tobacco products require a text warning on the front and back of the packaging. Legislation in 2011 expanded the minimum requirement for those warnings to 40% of the packaging surface area.

Attitudes and Perceptions

How harmful are e-cigs compared to cigarettes?

Perception of relative harm of vaping devices. From the Foundation’s 2017 and 2019 Global Polls, participants were asked, “Do you think smoking e-cigarettes and vaping devices are more or less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes?”

*Data from the 2017 Global Poll


48.2% of smokers in New Zealand tried quitting using nicotine replacement medications (like nicotine gum, patch, or inhaler) or other medications (2017 global poll)


46.2% of smokers in New Zealand’s quitting attempts failed because smokers felt they were not motivated enough (2017 global poll)


69.2% of smokers in New Zealand believe that using vaping devices such as e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes (2017 global poll)


Personal health was the largest factor that encouraged smokers in New Zealand to consider quitting (44.4%) (2017 global poll)

Have you ever spent money on cigarettes that you knew would be better spent on household essentials like food?

Would an increase in tobacco price have an effect on your current smoking habit?

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