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In A Puff – New Zealanders Slowly Warming to the E-Cigarette

In New Zealand, the rate of smokers has fallen in recent years, from 15.7% in July 2016 to 13.5% in July 2018, as health concerns and taxes discourage new and existing users. E-cigarettes, which produce an inhalable mist similar to traditional cigarettes, are a healthier alternative for those trying to quit gradually.
In New Zealand, the rate of smokers has fallen in recent years, from 15.7% in July 2016 to 13.5% in July 2018, as health concerns and taxes discourage new and existing users. E-cigarettes, which produce an inhalable mist similar to traditional cigarettes, are a healthier alternative for those trying to quit gradually.

In New Zealand, 4.0% of the population smoke an e-cigarette in an average 7 days as at July 2018. When you look at the types of people who use e-cigarettes, 5.1% of men had smoked an e-cigarette in an average 7 days, compared to only 2.9% of women. These figures come from Roy Morgan’s Single Source database, which surveys over 11,000 consumers per annum through the New Zealand Establishment Survey.

E-cigarettes are relatively more popular among younger demographics, with 5.9% of 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds smoking e-cigarettes in an average 7 days, as well as 4.7% of 35-49 year olds. However, only 2.2% of adults aged over 50 were e-cigarette smokers, indicating that the older generations are yet to embrace the new alternative to traditional tobacco smoking.

Percentage of Population Who Used an E-Cigarette in the Last 7 Days

Source: New Zealand Establishment Survey August 2017 – July 2018, n=11,280 Base: New Zealanders aged 18+

A geographic analysis of e-cigarette usage in New Zealand shows 4.1% of the Auckland population smoke e-cigarettes in an average 7 days, very close to the national average. Comparatively, Waikato recorded 2.9% of their population as e-cigarette smokers. Northland and Bay of Plenty comprised ‘plenty’ of e-cigarette smokers, with 5.8% and 5.5% respectively.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says interesting conclusions can be drawn when comparing e-cigarettes to traditional tobacco smoking data:

“E-cigarettes are seen as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products, given the different risks associated with combustible (cigarettes, cigars etc.) and heated (e-cigarettes, vapes etc.) products. 4.0% of New Zealanders used an e-cigarette in an average week, compared to the 13.5% of the population who smoked tobacco products in an average week. Given how recent e-cigarettes are compared to their traditional tobacco counterparts, this statistic seems to indicate that New Zealand is progressing towards tobacco-free smoking quickly. 

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the youth of New Zealand have the highest proportion of e-cigarette consumers, while people above 50 are less likely to use an e-cigarette. In addition, men are notably more inclined to use e-cigarettes than women, though the same is true for traditional tobacco smoking. Interestingly, residents of Auckland and Wellington have a higher tendency to be e-cigarette smokers, and less likely to be traditional tobacco smokers, while residents of the Waikato region have a higher tendency to be tobacco smokers and are less likely to smoke e-cigarettes.

“All industries are experiencing disruptive processes and technologies, and the smoking industry is no different. To stay informed and ahead of various trends in the New Zealand market, explore Roy Morgan’s various New Zealand Smoker Profiles, including Factory-Made Cigarettes Smoker Profile and Roll-Your-Own Smoker Profile

For comments or more information please contact:
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2