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Get smokes out of our homes and out of our shops

Get smokes out of our homes and out of our shops

John Key’s Government needs to take serious action to control the tobacco companies who peddle lethal drugs, the Green Party said today.

The release of the Maori Affairs Select Committee report on tobacco control today highlights the massive inequality in health outcomes for Maori because of the tobacco industry in New Zealand.

“We need to get smokes out of our homes and out of our shops,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Too often the focus is on punishing smokers and not controlling the industry that profits from the drug.

The industry must be made responsible for the harm they cause,” Mrs Turei said.

The committee agreed that the industry should pay for the damage it causes to public health and the public purse. This figure is estimated to be around $1.9 billion a year.

Mrs Turei said her main focus was on caring for New Zealand’s babies and children.

“This means giving our wahine, our mothers, all the support they need to quit and to stay smoke free.

“We need every possible therapeutic tool and government must prioritise access to cessation therapies.

“Recent calls to remove tobacco displays is a good start but introducing plain packaging, regulations to reduce the nicotine and sugar content over time and a requirement to disclose details of additives are also needed,” Mrs Turei said.

ENDS

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