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Turia Welcomes Survey But Warns Against Complacency

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tariana Turia
Tariana Turia

Tariana Turia is pleased about the decline in cigarette smoking among year 10 students but Aotearoa still faces a smoking crisis, she says.

Mrs Turia said while today's release of the ASH Year 10 Survey was a good news story, it was by no means a great news story.

"I salute the [18,728] students who rejected tobacco products last year and I welcome the four percent decline in smoking among them in the past two years, but I can't help but feel for the other [3,684] students who smoke," Mrs Turia said.

"The reality is that if they continue to smoke, then it will likely lead half of them to their graves before their time. And that's a huge loss for that generation - for the class of 2008.

"We must all work together to do what we can to stop them while they are young, and to make sure those students who have never smoked continue on that path."

Mrs Turia encouraged high schools to consider following in the footsteps of Porirua College which was running an intensive stop smoking and exercise programme for students who would usually be made to write lines in detention for smoking on school grounds.

"Detention doesn't actually help a student stop smoking and I applaud Porirua College for realising that."

Smoking still remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in Aotearoa with some 5000 deaths per annum attributed to smoking.

The likelihood of a student being a smoker in 2008 (about one in every 14) is significantly lower compared to 2004 (about one in every 10).

The ASH survey is the country's most comprehensive smoking survey of the 14-15 age group involving the distribution of more than 300,000 questionnaires over the past 10 years.

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