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Tobacco Report Will Benefit All New Zealanders

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tobacco Report Will Benefit All New Zealanders

The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand says the Māori Affairs Select Committee's report on tobacco will benefit all New Zealanders. The Committee's recommendations underscore a strategy to halve smoking rates by 2015, as the first step towards a smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

"If the report's recommendations are adopted, Maori and non-Maori will benefit from a smokefree New Zealand, both in terms of life expectancy and quality of life," says Mark Vivian, Stroke Foundation CEO.

"These benefits will be enjoyed by current smokers who will quit, by young people who might otherwise be encouraged to start smoking, and by non-smokers, who will no longer carry the huge costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses."

He says smoking quadruples stroke risk.

"Chemicals and gases in tobacco smoke speed up hardening of the arteries and make blood vessels throughout the body tighten, reducing blood flow.

"Smoking also makes the blood more likely to clot, especially inside damaged blood vessels."

Mr Vivian says as soon as someone stops smoking, their stroke risk begins to drop and continues to improve each day.

"You can imagine then, the huge difference a smokefree New Zealand would make to stroke rates. Currently, 2000 people die from stroke each year, and there are an estimated 45,000 stroke survivors, many of whom have disability and need daily support.

"A smokefree New Zealand would save and improve literally thousands of lives."

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