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Smokers Urged To Take Up Cheap Programmes

Smokers Urged To Take Up Cheap Stop-Smoking Programmes

The Green Party today urged smokers to take advantage of cheap new stop-smoking programmes, which are a result of Budget negotiations between the Greens and the Government.

Smokers can now get a four week supply of nicotine replacement therapy for $10, which previously cost up to $125.

The $4 million initiative negotiated by the Green Party was augmented with another $2.18 million gained from lobbying by Health Minister Annette King to make up a $6.18 million stop smoking programme.

It is in addition to a $5 million package announced in the Budget to help Maori stop smoking.

"This $4 million was the largest item in the $15 million Green Budget Package, which conveys the importance we give to disease prevention," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said. "Too often in the past, governments have concentrated on treatment of ill health, rather than on keeping people well."

The Green Party demanded the stop-smoking package before agreeing to support the Government's tax increase on cigarettes earlier this year, because the party felt the boosted taxes could impact unfairly on the poor.


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