27 Mar 2012

Price rise 'has discouraged' school girls from smoking

7:17 am on 27 March 2012

The smoke-free co-ordinator at a central North Island Maori girls' boarding school, says the recent price hike of cigarettes has led to fewer rangatahi taking up the habit

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

The deputy principal at Turakina Maori Girls' College in Marton Kere Mihaere wants the Government to keep pushing up the price of cigarettes - because it is an effective cessation strategy.

He says the rising price also means parents or older members of the whanau are not buying as many cigarettes as they used to, which means the teenagers can not borrow cigarettes from them.

Kere Mihaere says anything the Government can do to intervene and stop Maori teenage girls from smoking benefits Maori people.

Turakina Maori Girls College has for many years had a proactive smoke free policy and has been praised in the past by the Whanganui District Health Board for its significant smoking reduction rates.