Yesterday a journalist from 1 NEWS published statistics reflecting the sharp decline in tobacco sales since 2016. This information was released to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act and it is welcome news to the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Coordination Service at Hāpai te Hauora.
"This reflects a worldwide decrease in tobacco sales," says Mihi Blair, GM for the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service. "These statistics contribute further evidence to support the efficacy of key measures such as excise tax on tobacco products and age restrictions as successful strategies to drive these harmful products out of our communities."
"Unfortunately, tobacco remains as difficult to quit as ever, and people must receive the support they need in order to live tobacco-free lives" continues Blair. "We do not deny the negative consequences for whānau who struggle to quit, and are therefore financially impacted by funding their addiction as prices rices every year."
Hāpai supports actions which will ensure tobacco is phased out from our communities including supply reduction, removal of nicotine from smokes and widespread provision of harm reduction products.
Blair explains "We need to make sure that people don’t go back to tobacco which still kills over 5000 people a year. The next steps towards successfully reaching Smokefree 2025 will come through a combination of compassionate, effective treatment of tobacco addiction and courageous policy to reduce the availability of tobacco in our communities."