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Published: 11 November 2010

Authors: NZ House of Representatives Māori Affairs Committee.

Tobacco is an addictive and hazardous product which, if used as recommended by the manufacturer, results in the premature death of half of its long-term users. In New Zealand, tobacco kills about 5,000 people annually, and is our greatest preventable cause of death and illness. With smoking rates amongst Māori double that of the general population, tobacco has a particularly devastating impact on Māori, and accounts for a significant portion of the life expectancy differential between Māori and non-Māori. More than 600 Māori die prematurely each year from smoking-related illnesses, and this loss, as well as the preceding addiction, erodes economic, social, and cultural wellbeing, and hinders Māori development aspirations and opportunities. Tobacco smoking delivers a major insult to whānau ora