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Governments response to the future of Pacific Smoking

Governments response to the future of Pacific Smoking

Tala Pasifika, the National Pacific Tobacco Control Service celebrate yesterday’s announcement from Government who have set the goal of supporting New Zealand to become a smoke free nation by 2025.

Tala Pasifika congratulates the gutsy leadership from the Maori Affairs Select Committee, Ministers Hon. Tony Ryall and Hon. Tariana Turia, and members of the wider Government to address the recommendations made in a Maori Affairs Committee Inquiry Report on tobacco last November.

“I think this announcement brings a great sense of achievement and pride for many New Zealanders who have worked towards this. In particular, I commend all the Pacific individuals and collectives who supported and delivered submissions. This is a great response for the future of Pacific Smoking” says Tala Pasifika Programme Manager, Stephanie Erick.

“It’s great to hear our Government send such a significant message to the tobacco industry that they ‘Get out of New Zealand by 2025’. Evidence shows that the public health sector and the public at large stand behind Government on this one”, says Ms. Erick.

Tala Pasifika maintain that Pacific people are clear about their views on tobacco use – they want it eliminated from their communities. Currently, almost a third of all Pacific people smoke with the majority (94%) smoking daily. “We want a rapid decline in smoking rates for Pacific communities, especially among pregnant women. Our Governments response has provided us the light at the end of the tunnel” says Ms. Erick.

Hon. Tariana Turia says, ‘there is still so much to be done’, however, she is more confident than ever that we can reach the goal of New Zealand being a nation free of tobacco.

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