June 06, 2017
Front group defends tobacco sales
National tobacco control advocacy service Hapai Te Hauora says big tobacco is using a front group of dairy owners to complain about tobacco taxes, the most effective way of reducing tobacco use.
Hapai director Zoe Hawke says British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco are members of the Association of Convenience Stores, which claims the rising cost of cigarettes is behind a surge in dairy robberies.
She says the association has a track record of opposing health policies including plain packaging and tobacco advertising display bans.
One of the solutions to the robberies could be selling tobacco products only from a limited number of safer environments.
Ms Hawke says the country is no longer on track to meet the target of being smokefree by 2025, with high Maori smoking rates one of the reasons.
She says tobacco tax increases make cigarettes less attainable for youth and should continue as well as many other measures.
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