Minister Concerned At Cigar Promotion

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Health

Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tuariki Delamere, said today he supports Ministry of Health efforts to stamp out the illegal promotion of cigars.

"There is a misconception by some members of the public that smoking cigars is not harmful to health. This is incorrect - cigar smoking can, among other things, cause a number of cancers and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

"I find the increasing promotion of cigars of great concern - they are not a safe alternative to cigarettes."

Mr Delamere said that the Ministry of Health was currently investigating a number of cigar promotions that allegedly breached the Smokefree Environments Act 1990.

"People don't seem to realise that the ban on advertising tobacco products relates to cigars, just as much as cigarettes. Recently there has been a rise in various promotions of cigars. These include information in magazine "lifestyle" columns, glossy adverts for cigars in a mail order catalogue, advertising outside a cigar retail outlet and advertising a brand of cigars, and where they can be purchased from, in a community newspaper.

"I accept that there is a market for cigars within New Zealand. However, cigar retailers have to understand that they have chosen to sell a product that is heavily regulated - and for good reason. If they wish to continue to sell cigars, they will have to do so within the laws of this country."

Cigar smoking - the facts

  • Smoking cigars can cause oral, oesophageal, laryngeal and lung cancers.
  • Regular cigar smokers who inhale, particularly those who smoke several cigars per day, have an increased risk of coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Regular cigar smokers have risks of oral and oesophageal cancers similar to those of cigarette smokers.
  • Cigars contain amounts of nicotine that vary from the amounts contained in a single cigarette to the amount contained in a pack or more of cigarettes.

The amount of nicotine is usually proportional to the amount of tobacco contained in the cigar.