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In New Zealand, tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable death, and a major factor contributing to health inequality. Half of all long-term smokers die from a smoking-related illness and the average lifespan of long-term smokers who die prematurely from smoking is 15 years less than non-smokers. Between 4500 and 5000 deaths in New Zealand each year are associated with tobacco use.

In New Zealand, tobacco use contributes significantly to health loss from cancers (mainly lung cancer) as well as the burden of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the major causes of death in New Zealand, and rates are much higher among Māori.

In March 2011 the Government agreed to ‘a longer term aspirational goal of reducing smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, thereby making New Zealand essentially a smoke-free nation by 2025’. This was in response to Parliament’s Māori Affairs Committee Inquiry into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori.

This publication outlines the findings of a review commissioned by the Ministry of Health to determine whether the services that are currently in place to address tobacco related harm are sufficient to support achievement of the Government’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal. The recommendations outlined in the report were formulated based on an extensive review of the evidence and existing services, as well as input from key stakeholders.

This report outlines the findings of a review of tobacco control services undertaken by SHORE/Whariki Research, Massey University. 

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