June 06, 2023
Wahine smoking drop positive for healthy future
ASH director Ben Youdan says two of the biggest success stories in the campaign for a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 have been rangatahi and wāhine Maori.
He says this year’s World Smokefree Day was a chance to celebrate one million kiwis who’ve given up smoking.
Fewer than 3 percent of youth are now smokers – but the relative decline has been even greater among Maori women. \
“Wāhine maori went from around 1 in 3 smoking two years ago, to 18 percent. So it dropped by a third in two years. No other group in Aotearoa has seen such a fast decline in smoking in the last two years, and I’ve been in this field in smokefree and health for more than 20 years and I’ve never ever seen a decline like it,” Mr Youdan says.
He says it is now the plus-35 smokers and Pasifika who are of most concern – although he says vaping continues to replace cigarettes – and while it’s not ideal it is certainly a better option.