ASH do an annual survey of smoking behaviour with Year 10 students. And the good news is the latest results continue a trend of fewer Year 10 students smoking than previously. In fact the change over the last 14 years (since it started) has been massive, and also very significant for the last six years.
Changes since 2008
- Daily smoking rate down from 6.8% to 2.8%
- Regular smoking rate down from 11.9% to 6.1%
- Never smoked rate up from 60.7% to 76.9%
- Female never smoked rate up from 58.3% to 76.0%
- Maori daily smoking rate down from 17.2% to 7.2%
- Maori never smoked rate up from 34.6% to 56.7%
- Maori female daily smoking rate down from 21.5% to 8.8%
- Maori female never smoked rate up from 27.4% to 51.1%
There’s still a long way to go. No kids should be smoking. We still have 49% of Maori Year 10 girls who have smoked at least once. But things have improved dramatically. If we go back to 2000 only 12% of Maori girls had never smoked. Now it is 51%. And again in 2000 only 35% of non Maori girls had never smoked, and today it is 82%.
These are changes worth celebrating. They save lives. It’s one things for adults to decide to smoke, but another for 14 year olds to be doing so. If you stop them starting, that is the best solution.