August 27, 2019
Māori groups enlisted for vaping sales pitch
Auckland Action Against Poverty is accusing a tobacco giant of trying to enlist organisations that work with Māori and low income people to push its new vaping products.
Spokesperson Ricardo Menendez says a public relations firm working on behalf of Philip Morris International approached the roopu as well as marae-based and health organisations claiming to support the government's smokefree initiative.
He says in fact it is taking advantage of the fact the market for vaping products is unregulated.
Vaping's supposed lower levels of harm compared with traditional tobacco products are offset by other factors.
"It's still a very costly product because of its addictive nature and so if Philip Morris was genuinely, as they wrote in their email, trying to find ways to reduce harm they would probably have hui with those communities to explain the harm associated with their own products rather than trying to make money out of people who may already have an addiction to nicotine and are quite vulnerable financially." Mr Menendez says.
He says the government needs to fight against the aggressive lobbying by the tobacco giants.
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