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Te Aho O Te Kahu, The Cancer Control Agency, Backs The Proposals For A Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan

Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency, fully supports the initiatives in the Proposals for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

“Lung cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer in Aotearoa. Far too many of our whānau and loved ones are dying of diseases that are caused by exposure to tobacco,” Chief Executive of Te Aho o Te Kahu Diana Sarfati says.

If we can stop people developing cancer in the first place, then that is the best form of cancer control.

“That is why we support all of the proposals contained in the recently released Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.”

“The strategies outlined in the Action Plan are vital in decreasing the number of Kiwis dying of preventable smoking-related cancers,” Sarfati says.

Currently, nearly half a million New Zealanders smoke daily.

Tobacco use kills approximately 4,500 people every year in New Zealand – that is around 12 deaths a day due to smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.

The Action Plan sets out a clear vision of how people can be supported to quit smoking, or not take up smoking at all.

“We support the re-orienting of the tobacco control programme with a stronger focus on environment-altering initiatives rather than a reliance on influencing individual behaviour.

“An individual’s ability to quit or not start smoking is strongly shaped by their environment.”

The initiatives outlined are evidence-based. Importantly they focus on reducing the inequities in smoking rates and smoking related illnesses.

“Māori carry the disproportionate burden of smoking related cancers - such as lung cancer.

“Strengthening Māori governance in the prevention programme will ensure the proposed initiatives are reaching Māori effectively.”

The Action Plan lays out a strategy which will help countless Kiwis improve their health and prevent diseases like cancer.

“Together, we can create healthy environments that prevent our young people from becoming addicted to tobacco smoking and also make it easier for smokers to quit”, Sarfati says.


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