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Source: ProCare

ProCare, a leading healthcare provider, has called for the Government to proceed with the majority of the proposals outlined in the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill as part of its submission to the Ministry of Health’s consultation on the Bill.

Bindi Norwell, Group Chief Executive at ProCare, says: “As an organisation we tautoko (support) the overall intent of the proposed Bill, which is aimed at reducing retail availability, amending the age limits, and reducing the appeal and addictiveness of smoked tobacco products to young people.

“We strongly urge Ministers to get behind the intent of the Bill – especially if we want Aotearoa to be smokefree by 2025,” continues Norwell.

“Living a smokefree life is one of the best things a person can do for their health and the wellbeing of their whānau. The benefits are immediate, lifesaving and can have a significant benefit for an individual’s long-term healthcare,” she points out.

Dr Allan Moffitt, Clinical Director at ProCare echoes this point, highlighting the benefits of being smokefree.

“Stopping smoking reduces your chances of issues such as lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, and even blindness. Additionally, it can help improve an individual’s overall mood, and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression – let alone your sense of taste and smell. Then when you add in the cost savings, both immediately and from prevention of further illnesses down the track, the benefits are significant,” he points out.

One of the key proposals outlined in the Bill is to introduce a maximum number of authorised tobacco retailers in a specific area, thereby significantly limiting the number of retailers able to sell smoked tobacco products.

“Through our work with smoking cessation clients, we know that ease of availability to tobacco can be a significant barrier for whānau looking to quit smoking. Thereby, applying regulations to restrict access and make it more difficult to purchase tobacco products would act as a deterrent,” points out Dr Moffitt.

“Additionally, due to the addictive hold cigarettes have, and the access and appeal to cigarettes in communities, we only see about 50% successfully quitting. If the measures outlined in the Bill are able to be implemented, this will increase success rates and go a long way towards supporting a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025,” he concludes.


Currently more than 51,000 (8%) of ProCare’s population are classified as smokers. Of those, 22% (12,907) are Māori, and 14% (10,946) are Pacific, comparable to the national smoking rates in Aotearoa 2020/2021. Source: Ministry of Health. (2021). Annual Update of Key Results 2020/21: New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health

At ProCare we have a duty to advocate on behalf of the communities we serve, and smoking cessation is a key priority as part of our Population Health Strategy.

Therefore, ProCare is supportive of any proposals which support whānau in their efforts towards smoking cessation.

About ProCare

ProCare is a leading healthcare provider that aims to deliver the most progressive, pro-active and equitable health and wellbeing services in Aotearoa. We do this through our clinical support services, mental health and wellness services, virtual/tele health, mobile health, smoking cessation and by taking a population health and equity approach to our mahi. As New Zealand’s largest Primary Health Organisation, we represent a network of general practice teams and healthcare professionals who provide care to more than 830,000 people. These practices serve the largest Pacific and South Asian populations enrolled in general practice and the largest Māori population in Tāmaki Makaurau. For more information go to