Success in battle against teen smoking

Teen smoking rates have halved in just eight years, says an anti-smoking lobby group.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) today released survey results which showed 14.2 percent of Year 10 students said they smoked.

This was down from 28.6 percent in the same group in 1999.

ASH director Ben Youdan said the survey also revealed that 53.8 percent of the students had never smoked a cigarette, up from 31.6 percent in 1999.

While the tobacco industry was ruthlessly trying to replace the 5000 smokers killed each year by its products, but teenagers had shown they weren't there to be manipulated, Mr Youdan said.

For the third year in a row, the rate of smoking among Maori girls had dropped, he said.

"The percentage of Year 10 Maori girls who have never had even one puff of a cigarette increased from 12.4 percent in 1999, to 23.5 percent in 2006."

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