January 07, 2020
Robberies sign time to vape tobacco sales
Māori public health advocacy service Hāpai Te Hauora says dairies should stop selling tobacco products rather than beef up security.
Some dairy owners are calling for extra help to protect them from robberies in the wake of the January 1 tax hike that took the price of a 25 pack of cigarettes to over $40.
But Hāpai national tobacco control advocacy manager Mihi Blair says ending tobacco sales is the way to reduce the risk to dairies and to decrease the huge death toll associated with tobacco-related illnesses.
While Hapai believes in the right of dairy owners and their workers to feel safe in their place of business, more security is a short-term solution that could take the country further away from its Smokefree 2025 goal.
Ms Blair says research has shown the restriction of tobacco outlets is an effective way to reduce tobacco smoking prevalence, achieve health gains, and save health system costs.
"Taking tobacco out of dairies and retail in general will de-normalise smoking and by default should reduce uptake of cigarette smoking, especially among young people, and that will reduce cigarette smoking rates overall," she says.
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