New Zealand study reveals access to alternative products is more effective than tax hikes when it comes to smoking cessation

Stockholm, 13 October – a new report from New Zealand has found that vaping has helped to accelerate the rate of smoking cessation in the country.

According to the report, the number of daily smokers in New Zealand has declined by 154,000 since 2020/21. As the report notes, this corresponds with the increased uptake of e-cigarette use in the country, with the number of vapers outnumbering the number of smokers in 2022. The report also found that since July 2019, no hospitalisations in New Zealand have reported vaping as a primary diagnosis. These numbers are in spite of the fact that tobacco taxes have increased in New Zealand by 118% between April 2010 and January 2023.

Dr. Delon Human, leader of the Smoke Free Sweden initiative and former Health Advisor to three WHO Directors-General, said “New Zealand has shown that providing smokers with access to alternative products is a better solution than increased taxes on tobacco products”.

This also correlates with trends in Sweden, which is on track to record a 5% smoking level. Sweden is set to become the first EU country to achieve this milestone – 17 years ahead of schedule – through its policy of making vapes and pouches available, acceptable and affordable to adult smokers.

Compared to the rest of Europe, Sweden has 44% fewer tobacco-related deaths, a cancer rate that is 41% lower, and 38% fewer deaths attributable to any cancer.

 As we approach COP10, we are calling on policymakers to look at data from both Sweden and New Zealand”, noted Dr Human. “These examples show that making alternative, reduced harm products accessible to consumers can be life-saving. “

About Smoke Free Sweden

Smoke Free Sweden is a campaign which encourages other countries to follow the Swedish model when it comes to Tobacco Harm Reduction. Sweden is about to become the first ‘smoke-free’ European country in 2023, with a smoking rate of below 5 percent. This is a huge achievement, and will be 17 years ahead of the 2040 EU target. This can be attributed to Sweden’s open attitude towards alternative products.

For more information on Sweden’s successful approach to becoming a smoke-free nation, please visit


Smoke Free Sweden