New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand is a country with leading-edge tobacco control policies, including graphic warning labels. New Zealand has completed two waves of The Survey. New Zealand signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on June 16, 2003, and later ratified the treaty on January 27, 2004.

Country Profile:

Capital City Wellington
Population (2006 estimate) 4,076,140
Life expectancy at birth (2002 estimate) Men: 77 years, Women: 82 years
Healthy life expectancy (2002 estimate) Men: 69.5 years, Women: 72.2 years
Ethnic groups European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, Other 0.5%, Mixed 7.8%, Unspecific 3.8%
Langauges English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
GDP per capita (2004) $24,643
Literacy 99%

Smoking Prevalence and Associated Costs:

  • Like the countries in the ITC Four-Country Survey (Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the cigarette is the main source of tobacco used.
  • In the 2006/7 NZ Health Survey (NZHS), one in five adults (19.9%) was a current smoker.  There was no differences in the age-adjusted prevalence of current smoking by gender.
  • The NZHS reported that adult smoking prevalence was 18.6% for Europeans, 42.2% for Maori, 26.9% for Pacific peoples and 11.2% for Asian people.  (For more details see$File/tobacco-use-ch2.pdf)
  • Given these patterns, smoking is considered to be an important cause of health inequalities in New Zealand.

Smoking Policies:

  • New Zealand now has a comprehensive smoke-free law, which covers workplaces, schools and school grounds, restaurants and pubs/bars.
  • There are some outdoor smokefree environments, e.g. some parks.
  • Tobacco marketing is heavily restricted (but still occurs in stores and on packages).
  • Oral smokeless tobacco is illegal to sell.
  • The minimum age for purchasing tobacco is 18 years old.
  • Graphic warning labels were introduced in 2008.
  • For a recent review, see: Wilson, N., Thomson, G., & Edwards, R. (2008). Use of four major tobacco control interventions in New Zealand: A review. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121, 71-86.

ITC Researchers:

Nick Wilson (Principal Investigator)
Richard Edwards (Deputy PI)

For the rest of the team, see:

New Zealand policy table

New Zealand Summary of Research Outputs

New Zealand Contact Information

Mary McNally, Project Manager. Email:

Nick Wilson, Principal Investigator. Email:

ITC Affiliated Institutions:

Sources: World Health Organization, CIA World Factbook, Shafey et al (,

Click here for the ITC New Zealand survey questionnaires»

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