Results from the 2016 ASH year 10 survey released this week show that only 2.2 per cent of year 10 students smoke daily.
They are the lowest smoking rates recorded since 1999, when 15.2 per cent of students smoked daily.
At the same time, the number of students who have never even taken a puff of a cigarette has increased to nearly 80 per cent - an increase from only 55 per cent a decade ago.
The survey included over 25,000 year 10 students. The largest survey of its kind in New Zealand, ASH is releasing the new numbers as students throughout the country return to school after the summer break.
ASH Programme Manager, Boyd Broughton, says these results have been significantly influenced by the students’ environment and upbringing.
“The decline in smoking for year 10 students is one of the big success stories of the smokefree movement in New Zealand,” says Boyd.
“Rates have dropped by two thirds in under a decade.
“We are releasing the results as young people return to school, because much of this success has been down to the hard work and commitment of schools to being smokefree.
“Young people are highly influenced by the environment around them, especially what their peers and parents do.
“Schools are doing a great job fostering smokefree environments and contributing to the decline in year 10 smoking.”