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Tobacco Control Groups Save Lives

Tobacco Control Groups Save Lives

Tobacco control health groups are astonished by Act MP Rodney Hide’s attack on their work promoting the importance of introducing legislation to protect people from the effects of second-hand smoke.

Speaking on behalf of the Heart Foundation, the Cancer Society, the Smokefree Coalition and Apaarangi Tautoko Auahi Kore (ATAK), Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Diana North said, “As health organisations we are committed to improving the health of New Zealanders.

“The Smokefree Coalition allows us to draw together our knowledge about the leading cause of lost healthy life years in New Zealand - tobacco. The Ministry funds us to inform the public so they can make healthy choices, protect their children, and create safe environments.

“This includes talking to politicians who have the power to make decisions that affect all of our lives.”

“Tobacco use in New Zealand kills around 5000 people a year, killing half of long-term smokers, on an average of 14 years early.

“What other agenda could we possibly have than wanting to save people’s lives. This legislation has the potential to do that.

Dr North said it’s a pity these people waste their energy attacking health workers rather than concentrating on saving lives.

She also says it’s nonsense to suggest that advocacy groups always agree with Government.

“Health groups have in the past and will continue to work with and openly debate with Government when we believe bad decisions affecting people’s health is being made.”

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