No excuse for high smoking rates among indigenous people- Researcher

Weekend Life - Sunday 11/11/2018
Credit: File.

A expert with over 25 years of experience studying tobacco harm and policy says it’s essential we switch our smokers to lower risk alternatives - like vaping.

Approximately 35% of Māori adults currently smoke, compared to 14% for European New Zealanders. 

Tobacco control researcher Dr Marewa Glover says New Zealanders are in a unique position in the world in that we have access to a wide range of cigarette substitutes.

She says vaping in particular is better both the health and wallet of smokers, and the difference is particularly stark for those groups who can least afford the high price of tobacco.

It's been absolutely transformative for lower socio-economic groups

Dr Glover says some smokers can go from spending up to $120 a week to $30 a month when moving from cigarettes to vaping.

She stresses that the last few decades of anti-smoking campaigning have added to the stigma of smoking and that can be harmful.

“We’ve had 35 years of campaigns to incite hatred of cigarette smoke and that’s spilled over into hating smokers.”

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Marewa Glover above.

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