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Number of young smokers hits record low

Published: 2:24PM Thursday March 01, 2012 Source: ONE News

  •  (Source: Thinkstock)
    Source: Thinkstock

The number of young people smoking in New Zealand has dropped, a new survey shows.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said she is "delighted" about the youth smoking statistics in the latest survey by anti-smoking lobby group, ASH.

The Year 10 smoking survey shows that the biggest year on year drop in daily smoking was from 16.3% in 2010 to 11.3% last year for Maori girls.

And Maori students had the biggest decline in daily smoking compared to other ethnicities with a change from 14.1% in 2010 to 10.3% in 2011.

"This is an outstanding result and I am so proud to see our rangatahi leading the way," Turia said.

Just over 8% of students are regular smokers (daily, weekly and monthly), falling from 10.0% in 2010.

And 70% of students had never smoked, a rise from 64.3% in 2010.

"This is the biggest year-to-year decline in daily youth smoking since 2003. Smoking may have been a part of our past, but it's not a part of their future," Turia said.

The Year 10 ASH Smoking Survey is conducted annually and is the largest survey of youth smoking in New Zealand.

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