The New Zealand Health Survey has been monitoring trends in smoking continuously since 2011/12. Data on smoking is collected from a randomly selected group of New Zealanders aged 15 years or over.
The latest New Zealand Health Survey results show the rate of daily smoking was 6.8% in 2022/23, down from 8.6% the previous year and 16.4% in 2011/12.
Figure 1: Prevalence of daily smoking, total population aged 15+ years, 2013/14 to 2022/23
Over the last decade, daily smoking rates have decreased for all population subgroups. However, trends can be harder to interpret for smaller groups because results can fluctuate from year to year.
An example of this variability is smoking data for Pacific peoples, which has fluctuated considerably over the last few years. This variability is due to sample sizes being smaller than usual, which is the result of COVID-19 impacts on data collection. Work is underway to improve the sample size for Pacific peoples in future surveys.
To better understand trends in smoking among Pacific peoples we calculated a 3-year rolling average. As shown in the chart below, this approach makes it easier to see the trend in daily smoking for Pacific peoples.
Figure 2: Prevalence of daily smoking, Pacific peoples aged 15+ years, 3-year rolling average 2013/14 to 2022/23
 Each point on the chart is based on an average of 3 consecutive years of survey data. For example, the first point is based on data for 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 and the last point is based on data for 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23. The advantage of this approach is that it smooths trends over time.