May 31, 2016
Wall defend tobacco tax
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall is rejecting a claim MPs are misinformed about tobacco taxes.
Public health researcher Dr Marewa Glover claims Maori smoking rates have not declined despite almost a decade of rises in tax, and the 10 percent a year rise budgeted for the next four years is just bashing vulnerable groups like Maori women.
Ms Wall says the way to achieve a smoke free Aotearoa is to stop young people smoking, and increasing prices, along with the likely shift to plain packaging, helps achieve that.
She says for those wanting to end their addiction, there needs to be much more support available.
"The reality is over the next four years $425 million is going to be collected by this government and none of it is going into specific preventative programmes, so that is the issue, it's not the fact there is increased tax on tobacco, it's what are we going to do with that money," Ms Wall says.
She says the high rate of Maori smoking is a contributing factor to a range of health problems.
Today is World Smokefree day.
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