Tobacco control

Smokefree/Auahi Kore is about youth, whānau and communities living a smokefree life.

By choosing to be smokefree, supporting people to quit, and creating smokefree events, parks and sports grounds, together we can achieve the vision of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

Stop Before You Start

HPA recently launched Stop Before You Start to communicate with young adults 17 to 24-years-old who are at risk of taking up smoking. 

The campaign highlights the health and social impacts of smoking and asks young adults to...“think about your relationship with tobacco”.

The aims are to increase the audience’s resistance to tobacco - including offers of cigarettes in social settings, help them understand the nature of tobacco and its harms, and increase the prevalence of pro-smokefree and anti-tobacco attitudes.

For more information

Smokefree 2025

New Zealand is committed to a goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. This will mean:

  • our children and grandchildren will be free from tobacco and enjoy tobacco-free lives
  • almost no-one will smoke (less than 5% of the population will be current smokers)
  • it will be very difficult to sell or supply tobacco.

Through simple steps, with whānau, school, community and organisations, we can make this Smokefree 2025 a reality. Have smokefree events, smokefree cars, ask whānau to not smoke around the kids, talk to kids about being smokefree - even if you are a smoker it still helps. And we need to encourage and support more people to quit.

Find out more

Our goal - New Zealanders reject tobacco and live a smokefree lifestyle.

What does HPA do?

While our overall goal is for New Zealanders to reject tobacco and live a smokefree lifestyle, our key focus is to decrease smoking among young Māori (because smoking imposes a disproportionate burden on Māori).

Young people

HPA’s work with young people involves:

  • providing information and delivering messages to young people to increase their anti-tobacco and pro-smokefree attitudes
  • reducing young people’s exposure to tobacco and smoking.

A key part of our work with youth is the very successful Smoking Not Our Future campaign.

Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats

Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats are New Zealand’s only nationwide, original live music, youth events that provide opportunities for secondary school students to showcase their musical talents in their regions and, if successful, at the national final competitions.

HPA continues to support Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats to:

  • engage with youth in a meaningful way
  • empower youth to make positive choices about their wellbeing
  • encourage youth connectedness, a protective factor in preventing youth from starting to smoke
  • to promote being smokefree as part of the New Zealand way of life.

Smokefreerockquest aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers. It has been steadily growing over the past 25 years – today two-thirds of all New Zealand secondary schools (over 800 bands) participate in the competition, and audience numbers exceed 10,000 every year. 

Smokefree Pacifica Beats is the sister event to Smokefreerockquest.  Smokefree Pacifica Beats recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific. 

Find out more about how these events support high school students’ creative development through Smokefree and watch videos of past Smokefree Pacifica Beats and Smokefreerockquest participants talking about their experiences.


The focus of our work in this area is to provide information and messages to all adult New Zealanders to:

  • increase knowledge and abilities of parents and caregivers to help them reduce the number of young Māori exposed to smoking and tobacco
  • increase the number of quit attempts and the number of supported quit attempts
  • maintain public support for tobacco control measures.

Visit the Smokefree and Auahi Kore websites for more information.


The smokefree schools’ project provides strategic leadership advice and support to:

  • increase awareness and understanding within schools that smoking is a significant public health issue
  • support schools to effectively address the issues of taking up smoking and quitting
  • increase the range of best practice Smokefree/Auahi Kore resources that are available to meet the needs of schools.

Visit the Smokefree Schools website for more information.

Research and Evaluation

The HPA undertakes a wide range of research and evaluation activities.

Check out our research section to access HPA's research reports and publications.

The New Zealand Smoking Monitor

The HPA runs a continuous survey on behalf of the Ministry of Health to measure current and changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours relating to smoking and quitting. The survey has been in field every fortnight since July 2011 and offers a unique way to monitor trends over an extended period of time.

This information sheet gives a brief overview of the survey.

This participants' information sheet might be helpful if you have been asked to take part in this survey.

The New Zealand Youth Tobacco Monitor

The New Zealand Youth Tobacco Monitor (NZYTM) is a national school-based monitor that comprises the ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey and HPA's Youth Insights Survey (YIS). It is used to gain smoking prevalence data for year 10 students, as well as in-depth information on attitudes to tobacco and youth culture and lifestyles.

For more information on the NZYTM »

The Health and Lifestyles Survey

The Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS) is a national in-home survey that measures New Zealanders’ behaviours, attitudes and knowledge on a range of health and lifestyles topics including smoking. The survey has been in field every two years since 2008.

For more information on the HLS »

Find out more

To find out more about our work in this area check out: