Newly-released statistics show Maori and Pacific smoking rates have fallen considerably in New Zealand, but national tobacco control services say there is still plenty of work to do.

Maori regular smoking rates dropped by about 10% (from 42.2% to 32.7%) between 2006 and 2013 and Pacific regular smokers dropped by 7% (from 30.3% to 23.2%) in the same period, according to data provided by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The data was collected during the 2013 Census but ASH has since analysed the figures and provided a breakdown of Maori and Pacific smoking rates according to District Health Boards (DHBs) regions.

Zoe Hawke, Kaiwhakahaere (manager) of Te Ara H? Ora, the National Maori Tobacco Control Leadership Service, said the statistics are a reminder of how far Aotearoa has come with its smoking status.

Although regular Maori smoking rates have dropped to 32.7%, thats still more than double the New Zealand non-Maori rate of 15%. There would be massive health benefits for Maori if tobacco was totally taken out of the equation, Hawke said.

She congratulated those regions which have come in below the national Maori average and welcomed the opportunity to support others which are serious about dealing to tobacco harm.

We need to pick up the momentum and continue the fight others started. We all need to stand up as a collective against tobacco. Tobacco is not for our wh?nau, not for our tamariki, it wasnt our history and it will not be our future.

smoking

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