Fewer New Zealanders are smoking, a new health survey has confirmed.

The latest annual New Zealand Health survey found that the number of adult smokers fell from 17.8 per cent last year to 15.5 per cent this year.

The Ministry of Health survey confirms Census data which also showed a sharp drop in smoking.

Smokefree Coalition executive director Prudence Stone said the results showed the Smokefree 2025 goal was achievable.


"However, Smokefree Coalition members believe that we need to do more, particularly to help bring down smoking rates among Maori and Pacific populations and among those living higher in deprived areas.

"We urge action in areas such as the reduction of duty-free allowance on cigarettes and tobacco; Smokefree cars; increased investment in cessation and new nicotine replacement devices; increased taxation; and unbranded packaging."

Dr Stone said the surveys were encouraging but the health of far too many people was still being severely damaged by their addiction to smoking.

The health survey has a sample size of 13,000 adults and 4,500 children.