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News | New data on e-cigarette use among New Zealand adults

Around one in six New Zealand adults have tried e-cigarettes but only 2 per cent are using them currently, a national survey has found.

Research led by the Health Promotion Agency and recently published in the scientific journal Addictive Behaviours found more than half (56.5 per cent) of current smokers had at least tried e-cigarettes.

Paper co-author, Professor Richard Edwards, who is Co-Director of the ASPIRE 2025 Research Group at the University of Otago, Wellington, says daily use is highest among current smokers (3.1 per cent) and among people who had quit smoking in the last year (9.0 per cent), but there was no daily use among people who have never smoked.

“This nationally representative survey of adult New Zealanders gives us a snapshot for how the use of e-cigarettes is developing,” Professor Edwards explains.

“The finding that people who have never smoked are not using these products is reassuring, as is the relatively high use among recent quitters, as this suggests that many smokers are successfully using e-cigarettes to quit.”


  • While some New Zealanders report trying e-cigarettes, very few currently use e-cigarettes.
  • Use of e-cigarettes was highest in current smokers and recent quitters.
  • Very few never smokers use e-cigarettes.
  • Māori and younger adults were more likely to try e-cigarettes, but not more likely to currently use them.

A copy of the paper is available here:

Citation is: Oakley A, Martin G, Edwards R. Prevalence of e-cigarette use from a nationally representative sample in New Zealand. Addictive Behaviours 2019; 98: 106024.

Read the full media release here:

For further information, please contact:

Professor Richard Edwards
Co-Director, ASPIRE 2025 Research Group
Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington
Tel +64 4 918 5089

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