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Not all of New Zealand on track for a Smokefree 2025 – Hapai Te Hauora

Hāpai Te Hauora, Aotearoa’s largest Māori Public Health organisation warns that Māori will not reach the 5% target for a Smokefree 2025. Modelling shows that unless we act with urgency, Māori will be left behind and not reach this goal until 2040 1

Key findings from the Annual NZ Health Survey 2022/23 reveal smoking rates for Māori remain alarmingly high at 17.1% compared to European/Other 6.1%. Māori continue to face substantial barriers to quitting smoking. Low-income communities have four times more tobacco retailers situated in their communities, hooking more whānau to addiction.

Jason Alexander, Chief Operating Officer at Hāpai Te Hauora, states “Whānau who submitted their feedback to the Smokefree legislation overwhelmingly wanted to see a significant reduction of retailers selling tobacco. It’s critical to remove triggers for whānau who want to break free from tobacco addiction and quit for good.”

Aotearoa is far from meeting its Smokefree goals for all groups by 2025. Immediate action is needed to protect future generations from the harm caused by tobacco; an insidious product designed to addict whānau, continuing to take the lives of 5000 New Zealanders every year.

The clear response from health experts, Māori leaders and communities, have questioned this government’s decision to repeal the Smokefree legislation. Put our people before profit – Stop the repeal of the Smokefree law petition attracted over 52,000 signatures. A recent 1News Verian poll released in February reinforced this thinking with 60% opposing this government’s backward approach to repealing our world leading smokefree legislation.

We must continue to drive and enact change to uplift whanau, particularly those in our most marginalised communities, as we move into a smokefree future let us not leave anyone behind.

 

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