Tobacco Facts

  • Overall, smoking rates in New Zealand are going down.
  • The majority of New Zealanders choose to be non-smokers.
  • The majority of smokers wish they could quit.
  • Smoking kills more people in NZ each year than road crashes, alcohol, other drugs, AIDS, suicide, murder, drowning and earthquakes - all put together!
  • There are 4.8 million deaths worldwide from smoking each year. Every 6.5 seconds someone in the world dies from a smoking-related disease.
  • Tobacco kills over 5,000 New Zealanders a year (that's around 13 deaths a day!) These deaths can be prevented!
  • The average smoker will die 14 years younger than a non-smoker.
  • A 2002 Ford Mondeo turbo diesel with a two-litre engine was left with the engine idling in a closed garage for 30 minutes while scientists measured air samples from inside the garage every two minutes. The garage was then aired out completely and they redid the test inside the closed garage but this time three filter cigarettes were burned one after the other over a total of 30 minutes. The air samples showed that ten times more pollutants were released from the cigarette smoke than from the diesel fumes!
  • Tobacco is the single biggest killer of Maori (it accounts for one third of all Maori deaths).
  • Past exposure to second-hand smoke is estimated to be responsible for about 350 deaths per year in New Zealand plus a number of diseases and illnesses. So even if you donít smoke, you can still die from other peopleís smoke.
  • By the year 2020, tobacco is projected to kill about 10 million people a year worldwide.
  • Smoking is pretty selfish. Not only does it harm the smoker and all those around them, but it also:
    • Costs the country money by smokers taking more sick days, dying early etc.
    • Can contribute to young kids starting to smoke - just by making it seem 'normal'.
    • Damages the environment through the millions of cigarette butts that make their way into waterways.
    • Kills nearly 5 million hectares (600 million trees) of forest each year along with heaps of plants and animals through fires caused by throwing cigarettes out car windows!
    • Stinks! Smoking makes clothes, hair, cars and houses stink. It's not just smokers that have to put up with the smell.
    • Uses up money that many families could put to better use.