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Council Backs Funding To Reduce Tobacco Use

Media Release
Thursday 22 May 2008

Cancer Control Council Backs Funding To Reduce Tobacco Use

The Cancer Control Council of New Zealand is delighted that the government has increased funding for smoking cessation programmes, says Chair Dame Catherine Tizard.

``Tobacco use is responsible for approximately one quarter of all cancer deaths in New Zealand. About 4700 deaths each year are attributed to smoking or second-hand smoke and one out of every two smokers will die from a smoking related illness. By reducing tobacco use we can reduce the incidence, impact and inequalities with respect to cancer.’’

``Reducing the harm caused by tobacco is a priority for the Council and the cancer control community. Extra support for DHB’s to run more cessation programmes is good practical way to help to those who are trying to quit smoking.’’

``While this is great news, the Council also urges the government to support other initiatives, like banning tobacco displays.’’

``The evidence shows that a combination of measures is the most effective way to achieve a reduction in tobacco use, so the community needs to support all of them if we are to ensure the wellbeing of future generations,’’ Dame Catherine says.

The $8 million budget allocated for 2008/09 will help fund the implementation of District Health Board (DHB) plans to increase smoking cessation rates, in particular in primary care. It is also intended to further widen access to smoking cessation pharmaceuticals as part of nationwide smoking cessation services.

Funding Notes:
The Government is committing $32 million of new funding over four years. This is in addition to the extra $43.6 million over four years announced in Budget 2007.


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