6 Dec 2023

Majority of young New Zealanders want to 'live in a smoke free nation' - survey

6:39 am on 6 December 2023
Group of cigarette indicates quitting smoking conceptual

Photo: 123rf

International research shows the vast majority of young New Zealanders support the law to progressively ban smoking.

The new government plans to repeal changes to the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act that would have barred the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2009, among other restricted measures.

A Canadian-based international study shows 79 percent of New Zealanders aged 16 to 29 wanted the ban.

A similar number supported a reduction in the number of shops which could sell tobacco, while 68 percent wanted manufacturers to have to take nicotine out of cigarettes.

Otago University researcher Dr Jude Ball from the Public Health Communication Centre is one of the New Zealand authors.

It was interesting that even those who smoked backed the restrictions and believed it would help them cut down or quit, she said.

"They want the support to become smoke free ... and to live in a smoke free nation," she said.

The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project investigates attitudes to smoking across several countries and the latest research was supposed to provide a baseline for New Zealand before the law came into effect, Ball said.

"Our overseas colleagues are incredibly disappointed and devastated as we are because the tobacco research world has been really looking to New Zealand," she said.

She urged the government to rethink its plan to repeal the laws.

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