7 Mar 2012

Maori smokers seek Quitline help

7:23 am on 7 March 2012

The national stop smoking service, Quitline, says the January price increase of cigarettes flooded the organisation with calls for help - a significant number of them being Maori.

At the beginning of the year the Government increased the tobacco tax pushing the price of a pack of 20 to $14.

It was the last of a three-tiered price increase the Government had promised, to discourage people from smoking.

Quitline head Paula Snowden says 22.5% of the 8,000 calls it received in January were from Maori smokers.

She says the Government needs to continue raising the price of cigarettes because it is one of the interventions which is proving successful.

Ms Snowden says increasing the price of smokes generates decisions for people to quit the habit.