Pegasus 2025 – Celebrating World Smokefree May and the Passing of New Smokefree Legislation

Aotearoa New Zealand is celebrating World Smokefree May, a month[1]long event leading up to World Smokefree Day on May 31st. The annual celebration aims to raise awareness of the smokefree kaupapa and contribute to the achievement of the Smokefree 2025 goal. This goal, established in 2011, aims to have less than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.

Pegasus Health is actively supporting the Smokefree 2025 goal and the recently passed Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill. The bill aims to reduce the availability, appeal, and addictiveness of smoked tobacco products, and create a smoke-free generation by amending the age limit for sale of smoked tobacco products.

“Tobacco products kill about 4,500 to 5,000 people every year. It is encouraging to see our Pegasus patients are smoking less. Over the past three years, we are especially encouraged to see a decline in smoking rates among our Māori and Pasifika patients – from 28% to 20% and 19% to 14%, respectively. Patients switching from smoked tobacco to vaping are contributing to this decline,” Sue Aitken, Team Leader, Health Promotion Programmes said.

To achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal, the New Zealand government is implementing the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. This plan includes changes to legislation, such as reducing the number of retailers able to sell smoked tobacco products from 6,000 to 600, reducing the amount of nicotine allowed in smoked tobacco products, and prohibiting the sale of smoked tobacco products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.

“We continue to show our support by promoting our positions on smoked tobacco and vaping, and being an active member of our local Smokefree Canterbury Coalition. We look forward to seeing the changes from the new legislation reflected in our Waitaha Canterbury community and across wider Aotearoa New Zealand,” Katie Brown, Population Health Specialist at Pegasus Health said.

Pegasus Health encourages individuals who want to stop smoking to contact Te Hā – Waitaha Smokefree Support at 0800 425 700 or