New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..

June 1, 2009 - The government is reviewing the $37 million it spends on stop smoking campaigns, because they don’t seem to be working. In the past year, both the number of new smokers and the level of tobacco consumption have increased.

Twenty one percent of all Kiwis are smoking despite the millions of dollars poured into preventions. The Government is directing some of the blame at the cessation services. That means the $37 million the government pumps into the services is now under review. It also means uncertain times ahead for support networks like Quit-Line.

Associate Health Minister, Tariana Turia announced the review today, where representatives from many of the anti-smoking groups agreed a new approach is needed.

Maori are over represented in smoking statistics, 45 percent aged between 15 and 64 are smokers.

In total, close to 5000 New Zealanders die each year from smoking related illness and Tariana Turia says the Government no longer cares about the revenue generated by tobacco tax.

The Maori Party's Hone Harawira is trying to gain support for a bill which would eventually see a complete ban on tobacco.

But the changes which will more likely be made in the short term include the introduction of higher taxes on tobacco, tougher restrictions on its supply and a display ban in shops.

Reference: Government reviews funding for stop smoking campaigns,, 5/29/2009.

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