Inquiry launched into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori
The Māori Affairs Committee today launched an inquiry into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori.
The purpose of the inquiry is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the actions of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use amongst Māori, and the impact of tobacco use on the health of the Māori population, and the wider economic, social, cultural and developmental impacts that arise from such health effects and tobacco use more generally. As part of the inquiry, the committee intends to consider policy and legislative measures to address the findings.
The terms of reference are to inquire into
the historical actions of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use amongst Māori
the impact of tobacco use on the health, economic, social and cultural wellbeing of Māori
the impact of tobacco use on Māori development aspirations and opportunities
what benefits may have accrued to Māori from tobacco use
what policy and legislative measures would be necessary to address the findings of the inquiry.
The committee intends to report its findings and recommendations of the inquiry to the House of Representatives.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death amongst Māori and is known to cause cancers, heart disease, stroke and respiratory illnesses. Tobacco products also harm non-smokers through exposure to second hand smoke. Ministry of Health statistics show that smoking is a major issue for Māori in terms of health, equity, economic status and cultural identity. Smoking rates, for both adults and youth, are about double the non-Māori rate.
“Tobacco has a huge, devastating and disproportionate effect on Māori people. That is why the Māori Affairs Committee is delighted to be leading this inquiry into the tobacco industry and the effect of tobacco on Māori. We want to hear from experts, the industry, and especially Māori about this life and death issue,” said Mr Henare, the Māori Affairs Committee Chairperson.
Submissions should be forwarded to the Māori Affairs Committee Secretariat, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, Wellington by Friday 29 January 2010. Online submissions can be made, from next week, at