10.9% of the adult population are current smokers

There are approximately 420,745 current smokers in New Zealand

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Country profile
Data sourced: 2022.   Page updated: 2023-10-10

Smoking in New Zealand

In 2016/17 in New Zealand, 15.7% of adults were current smokers, down from 20.1% in 2006/07. There has been a steady decline in smoking prevalence during this period. Current smoking rates are declining for younger adults, but there has been no significant change for adults aged 35 years and over since 2011/12. For men, current smoking prevalence has reduced steadily over the last ten-year period of the survey, from 21% in 2006/7 to 17% in 2016/17. For women, the decrease has been from 19% to 14% over the same period. The most recent health survey included around 15,000 adults, aged 15 and over, in face to face interviews.



4627 people die every year due to tobacco smoking in New Zealand.

12.7 million €

Market size of NRT.

NRT market size is estimated to 12.7 million €.

Nicotine Vaping Devices

in New Zealand

The sale of nicotine containing e-liquids was banned until May 2018, but these laws were rarely enforced. A court decision on 9th May 2018 made any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, legal to import, buy & sell - subject to tobacco rules. The court case Philip Morris v Ministry of Health found all tobacco products - except chewing and dissolving types - could be lawfully sold under the Smoke-free Environments Act (1990). The ban on smoking in indoor workplaces, early childhood centres and schools currently only applies to smoking, however individual organisations can ban the use of e-cigarettes as part of their own smoke-free policies. A proposal by the Ministry of Health has been made that states that vaping, and the use of other smokeless tobacco products, will be prohibited in vehicles when children are present. This will be achieved through the Smoke-free Environments (Vaping) Amendment Bill, which will progress through Parliament later in 2019. The Bill will propose to prohibit vaping and the use of smokeless tobacco products in all legislated smoke-free areas. E-cigarettes cannot be sold to minors under 18, and must comply with rules on health information and warnings. There are restrictions on sales via vending machines, and packaging must comply with rules on packaging for tobacco products. There are also restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The Ministry of Health now plans to consider how best to apply risk-proportionate regulation to all tobacco and vaping products.

Heated Tobacco Products

in New Zealand

In 2018, a New Zealand District Court decision permitted the sale of heated tobacco products under the 1990 Smoke-free Environments Act. The case was Philip Morris International (the makers of IQOS) vs. New Zealand's Ministry of Health. The law regulating heated tobacco products states they should not be sold or advertised to minors (under 18 years). The New Zealand Ministry of Health has stated that it plans to develop a risk-proportionate regulatory framework for products covered by the 1990 Smoke-free Environments Act, which includes heated tobacco products.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

in New Zealand

NRT market size is estimated to 12.7 million €. In New Zealand you don't need a prescription to purchase NRT. Advertising NRT is allowed. NRT is available in many general shops without a prescription.


in New Zealand

The sale of Snus is banned. Use of Snus is permitted by law in New Zealand.


in New Zealand

There is no information about using pouches

The GSTHR database is updated regularly by our team. However, please be aware that the information we provide does not constitute legal advice. We cannot guarantee that the information is up to date or accurate, as the regulatory status of different product categories can change at short notice and with little publicity. If you wish to check the legal status of use or possession of any safer nicotine product in a specific country or region, you should verify the information independently. If you have reason to think that the information supplied on the GSTHR is inaccurate, please contact us with details and any references and we will rectify any errors.