Tobacco is the biggest preventable killer of NZ'ers
About 5000 New Zealanders die every year from smoking-related diseases. This not only has a devastating impact on our communities but costs our country a lot. It also kills a much higher proportion of Maori and Pacific people and action needs to be taken on this.
TOBACCO IS SOLD EVERYWHERE
At present in Aotearoa New Zealand, tobacco is widely available, with few restrictions aside from the minimum purchase age of 18 years and disallowing sales of loose cigarettes. There are an estimated 6000 tobacco retailers in NZ. That's more than places that sell bread and milk. Compare this with other legal yet potentially harmful product like pharmaceuticals and alcohol that are much more tightly regulated.
THIS MAKES IT EASY TO START SMOKING AND HARD TO STOP
None of us want our kids to start smoking and we all want to support family and friends to quit. But right now, across NZ, it’s too easy to start smoking and it’s too hard to stop. Cigarettes are available everywhere – tempting young people to pick up the habit and encouraging smokers to continue to smoke.
IT'S ALSO MORE AVAILABLE IN Maori/Pacific COMMUNITIES
The unregulated availability of tobacco exacerbates health inequalities: In poorer communities where tobacco is more available, there is higher youth smoking rates, lower quitting rates and higher relapse rates.
..and that's not fair, so we want to do something about it.
Here is a neat clip from NSW, Australia that helps explain the problem: