Story: Smoking

Tobacco consumption, 1853–1919

Tobacco consumption, 1853–1919

This graph shows consumption of tobacco (including pipe tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and snuff) per head of New Zealand population, including Māori. The figures up to 1891 have been drawn from New Zealand statistics on imports of tobacco products, and from 1892 onwards from annual official yearbooks. There was a dramatic rise in tobacco consumption from the late 1850s and into the 1860s as soldiers and gold miners flooded into the country, reaching a peak of 7.57 pounds (3.43 kilograms) per head in 1864. The subsequent decline was partly a reflection of the population's changing composition, as numbers of women and children, two groups that did not smoke, increased. From a low point in 1895 consumption rose again as cigarettes became more available and women and younger people took up smoking.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Smoking - The age of the pipe: the 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 July 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013