Smoking ban in New Zealand: Māori mourn hard-fought reform

The recent announcement by New Zealand’s new government to repeal the nation’s progressive tobacco laws was a devastating blow for the Māori community.

As leaders of the Indigenous people, they have long advocated for these reforms due to their disproportionately high smoking rates. The country’s groundbreaking model of eliminating smoking was widely praised by health advocates worldwide. Planned changes to drastically decrease nicotine levels in cigarettes, limit tobacco retailers, and create a “smoke-free” younger generation by restricting cigarette sales were set to take effect in 2024.

However, with the abandonment of these measures, it is the Māori community that will suffer the most, according to proponents. Just last year, Teresa Butler bravely addressed a panel of politicians while dressed in traditional attire alongside her young daughter. She tearfully shared a photo of her late mother and her death certificate attributing emphysema as the result of over three decades of smoking.

Gilbert Azal

Gilbert Azal was the chief of ZOBZ, Ontario during its most dynamic and innovative times from 2015-2017. She has extensive international experience in promoting Canadian technology and innovation and now in 2023, she is responsible for driving Trunknote's growth and adoption globally.

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