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Green Budget: Funding For Quit Smoking Programme

$4 Million Funding For Quit Smoking Programme Continues

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today welcomed the Government’s decision to continue to fund $4 million per year to help pay for quit smoking programmes.

Last year the Green Party secured $4 million of Government money to help fund a comprehensive national quit smoking and subsidised nicotine replacement programme. The programme has been so successful that the Government has agreed to roll over this funding for the next four years.

“The Greens supported last year’s $1 per pack tax hike on cigarettes on the condition that the Government consider the provision of subsidised quit-smoking programmes to people on low incomes. Last year’s funding ensured this happened and we are delighted that our input into the health of New Zealanders has been recognised and extended,” said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley said the initiative was an example of the Green principle of preventative health care in action.

“What this initiative is all about is helping people to be well rather than simply treating them when they become sick. Smoking-related illnesses cost this country a fortune every year and we are trying to help people kick a deadly addiction for the sake of themselves, their families and, ultimately, the health system and economy.”

Ms Kedgley congratulated Health Minister Annette King for her strong commitment to this programme as also evidenced by further Government money that went into it.

Green Party Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford said she was proud to be associated with the nicotine replacement programme.

“This scheme is an opportunity for poorer people who could not otherwise have afforded the assistance to quit smoking. It is an investment in the welfare of families across all socio-economic divides,” she said.

“As I did last year, I urge every smoking New Zealander to make use of this programme.”

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