28 Jan 2010

Maori lobby group wants tobacco sale ban

11:11 am on 28 January 2010

The director of a Maori anti-smoking group is calling for a total ban on the sale of tobacco products in New Zealand by 2013.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook from Te Ao Marama says more than 600 Maori will die this year of tobacco-related health conditions.

He says if the Government can ban party pills, it can ban tobacco.

"Not one death occurred ... and yet it was gone literally overnight," he told Waatea News.

"Yet here we have this situation, 5000 New Zealanders, 600 Maori die each year and there's no such urgency."

Mr Bradbrook says the Maori Affairs select committee's investigation due this year into the tobacco industry is a chance for Maori to take the industry to task for the damage smoking does.