May 31, 2023
Older smokers stranded as nicotine cut looms
It’s World Smokefree Day, and Action on Smoking and Health says the 300,000 Kiwis who still smoke need more help to quit.
ASH director Ben Youdan says in less than 2 years there will be no nicotine in cigarettes sold in New Zealand, which will be especially hard on middle-aged and older smokers who have been dependent for many years.
He says while this country has been incredibly successful in preventing youth smoking, with only 6 percent of under 25s now smoking daily compared to 19 percent a decade ago, it’s been older smokers who have had the slowest quit rates.
More than two-thirds of smokers are now over 35, and they’re the generation facing smoking-related illness in the next 10-15 years.
Mr Youdan says quit rates for Maori have doubled in the past two years, and almost quadrupled for wāhine Māori, but they are still overrepresented among smokers.