In New Zealand it is illegal to sell tobacco products to people under the age of 18 years, yet young people continue to smoke. It is, therefore, important to better understand non-commercial ways in which young people access tobacco. This fact sheet uses data from the Health Promotion Agency’s (HPA’s) Youth Insights Survey (YIS) to examine how many young people are being offered tobacco by others, how many are accepting or refusing those offers, and whether there are particular sub-groups of young people who are more likely to be offered tobacco and/or to accept it.
Participants in the 2012 YIS were asked whether they had accepted a cigarette/tobacco someone had offered them in the past year (12 months). Response options were ‘I have not been offered a cigarette/tobacco in the past year’, ‘yes’, and ‘no’.
The proportion of respondents who had been offered a cigarette/tobacco was calculated by dividing the number of respondents who said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the above question by the total number of respondents. The proportion of respondents who accepted the offer of tobacco was calculated by dividing the number of respondents who said ‘yes’ to the above question by the number of respondents who had been offered tobacco in the past year (n=1,639).
Responses to the question about being offered cigarettes/tobacco were examined by:
- smoking status
- susceptibility to smoking
- parental smoking status
Further analyses were undertaken to examine changes over time in offers and acceptance of cigarettes/tobacco among young people as this question was also asked in 2010.
Only those differences that were statistically significant (p < .05) are reported.
- Just over one-half of young people had been offered cigarettes/tobacco by someone else in the past year. Of those who had been offered tobacco in the past year, three in 10 accepted the tobacco.
- Almost all young current smokers had been offered cigarettes/tobacco by someone else in the past year, and nearly all of them had accepted the offer. Around four in 10 young people who had never tried smoking had been offered cigarettes/tobacco in the past year, but none had accepted the offer.
- Young Māori were more likely to have been offered cigarettes/tobacco in the past year compared with non-Māori, even when controlling for smoking status. However, of young people who were offered cigarettes/tobacco, Māori and non-Māori were equally likely to accept or reject the offer.
- Young people who had one parent who smoked were more likely to have been offered cigarettes/tobacco in the past year, compared with those who had indicated that neither parent smoked. However, regardless of whether their parents smoked or not, young people who were offered cigarettes/tobacco were equally likely to accept or reject the offer (when controlling for respondent smoking status).
- Young never smokers who were susceptible to smoking were more likely to have been offered cigarettes/tobacco than never smokers who were not susceptible to smoking.
- Although rates of having been offered cigarettes/tobacco were similar in 2010 and 2012, young people were less likely to accept the offer in 2012.