July 25, 2016
Home grown rollies provide industry smoke screen
Maori tobacco control advocates are dismissing as smoke a claim by the tobacco industry that increasing the price of their products will spark a boom in illicit sales of home grown tobacco.
Northland GP Lance O’Sullivan says the industry is trying to scare decision-makers, but it ignores the more substantial problem of legal tobacco use killing 5000 New Zealanders a year.
Zoe Hawke from Maori public health advocacy group Hapai Te Hauora says the industry made similar claims about Australia’s plain packaging law, but peer reviewed research showed no change in availability of illicit tobacco after the law came in.
The Health Ministry estimates the illicit trade accounts for only about 2 to 4 percent of the tobacco market.
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