14th December 2018, Volume 131 Number 1487

Nick Wilson, Frederieke Sanne Petrović-van der Deen, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa, Tony Blakely

Projections of future smoking prevalence suggest that a continuation of current policies and services will be insufficient to achieve the New Zealand Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal (generally considered to be…

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Summary

In this modelling study we found that to achieve the New Zealand Government’s Smokefree 2025 Goal (a below 5% smoking prevalence by 2025), there would need to be additional averages of 8,400 Māori long-term quitters per year (5.2 times the business-as-usual [BAU] level on average) and 8,800 extra non-Māori quitters per year during 2018 to 2025 (1.9 times the BAU level on average). Given these findings, it suggests that to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal, the Government will need to massively increase investment in established interventions (smoking cessation support, mass media) while continuing with substantial tobacco tax increases, or else add substantive new strategies into the intervention mix.

Abstract

Aim

To estimate the numbers of people required to quit smoking in New Zealand to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal and to compare these with current levels of quitting.

Method

We used the established BODE3 tobacco forecasting model to project smoking prevalence separately for Māori and non-Māori to 2025 under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. We then determined by what factor current annual cessation rates would have to increase to achieve an adult smoking prevalence of under 5% by the year 2025, while annual smoking uptake rates continued to follow BAU patterns. Comparisons were also made in terms of estimated current long-term quitters arising from official reports of smoking cessation service use (Quitline and face-to-face support services).

Results

To achieve a below 5% smoking prevalence by 2025, there would need to be additional averages of 8,400 Māori long-term quitters per year (5.2 times the BAU level on average) and 8,800 extra non-Māori quitters per year during 2018 to 2025 (1.9 times the BAU level on average). We estimated that the Quitline and funded face-to-face smoking cessation services are generating 2,000 Māori and 6,100 non-Māori long-term quitters per year. But this represents only 19% of Māori and only 34% of the non-Māori quitters required.

Conclusion

This modelling work suggests that to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal, there would need to be very major increases in quit rates. To achieve this goal the New Zealand Government will need to massively increase investment in established interventions (smoking cessation support, mass media) while continuing with substantial tobacco tax increases, or else add substantive new strategies into the intervention mix.

Author Information

Nick Wilson, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington; 
Frederieke Sanne Petrović-van der Deen, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington; Richard Edwards, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington;
Andrew Waa, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington; 
Tony Blakely, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington. 

Correspondence

Professor Nick Wilson, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Mein St, Newtown, Wellington.

Correspondence Email

nick.wilson@otago.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

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