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Anti-smoking groups want more money to get into campaign

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Friday, 14 December 2018, 11:31AM
Only $70 million of the $1.8 billion tax gathered from smoking goes back into anti-smoking. (Photo / SXC)

Put more money from tobacco tax into helping smokers quit.

New Otago University research shows we're floundering in our quest to be smokefree by 2025, needing five times as many Maori to quit each year, and twice as many Pakeha.

The Government receives around $1.8 billion a year directly from tobacco excise tax, and spends around $70 million of that, or four percent, on cessation.

Action on Smoking and Health's Boyd Broughton says that this is not shocking.

He told Mike Hosking that more of the money that comes from smokers, should go back to help them stop.

"The tools that are available to us now, they weren't available to us when the goal was set and there wasn't as much knowledge behind them. We need to make sure we use them appropriately and we get them to the right people."

He says we need to make them look more attractive to smokers. 

Broughton says that there may be some people who simply don't want to quit, but that means we need to try different methods of communicating to them.

"How we're getting our market to the right places is something we need to look at." 

He says that their yearly survey of young people shows that many of them have never smoked, and they are who they hope contributes to this change. 

"18 to 25 is a time when many people experiment, so we need to make sure we're looking after that cohort of young people." 


ON AIR: Overnight Talk

12AM - 5AM