Submission to Maori Affairs select committee on tobacco impacts

Tobacco burden on health budget blocks rare disease health care – May 2010

NZORD is well aware of considerable pressures on our health system, and common diseases with major cost implications are some of the major reasons rare diseases are often neglected in health care and service planning. Preventing avoidable health burdens thus becomes an important aspect of improving access to services and treatments for rare disorders. The health effects of tobacco use should be a prime target for action.

The inquiry by the Maori Affairs select committee is an important opportunity for rare disease interests to be heard, and we have submitted these main points:

  • Just like the rest of society, about 8% of all Maori are affected by rare disorders,
  • Maori with rare disorders are significantly affected by the burden that tobacco use puts on our health system,
  • Restrictions on tobacco use would significantly benefit the health of Maori who smoke,
  • Reduced consumption would free up health resources for Maori, and others, with rare disorders,
  • Significant control over tobacco use should start with making tobacco a restricted substance.

Read the full text of our submission, including our earlier submission to the Ministry of Health in 2008 on Tobacco Displays, in this Word document or in as a PDF file.