Sir Kolin Tuquitonga KNZM FNZCPHM, a Pacifica Medical Association (PMA) group board member and a strong advocate for Maori and Pacific health, is proud of this impactful change in the community.
“These statistics are the lowest we have ever seen and are a huge achievement for New Zealand’s Pacific youth. Current smoking prevalence is 2% and only about 1 in 100 Pacific youth It means I don’t smoke, which is one third of my previous smoking rate.”
Each year, ASH conducts a national survey of Year 10 students (ages 14-15) on their behaviors and attitudes regarding smoking and e-cigarette use. This is one of the largest ongoing youth smoking surveys in the world, with 29,538 of her students participating in 2022.
The survey found that only 1.2% of Pacific Year 10 students smoke daily (down from 5.3%) and 2.6% smoke regularly (down from 5.3%).
Tukuitonga, who also sits on the ASH Board of Directors, attributes this large and positive decline to the education message the country has been pushing for years.
“These results reflect longstanding information that smoking is not cool. Young people are in a tender phase of life trying to find themselves and being conscious of their appearance.”
These educational efforts and rising tobacco prices have contributed to the current results. We’ve come a long way to get to where we are today, so we’ll accept our success as it is. “
Tukuitonga shares the importance of sustaining and finding ways to sustain these positive outcomes as a community.
“I encourage you to continue the ongoing message. Smoking is not cool and the prices are not sustainable. Support more positive recreational activities to keep our youth on a positive path.” The sports and activities they are interested in are where they need our support and energy to sustain this difficult positive change.”
View the ASH Year 10 survey results here.
© Scoop Media