Hon Tuariki Delamere
Associate Health Minister
For immediate release
12 October, 1999
Delamere: Herbal cigarettes unsafe
Parliament should consider banning sales of herbal cigarettes to children, Associate Health Minister Hon Tuariki
Delamere said today.
Mr Delamere said three Australian states have banned sales of herbal cigarettes to under 18-year olds, and others are
"New Zealand could well follow suit. An amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act, which will be carried over to the
next Parliament, could be a useful vehicle for such a ban, if it’s considered necessary.”
In the meantime, the Government and the Ministry of Health would continue to monitor the impact of herbal cigarettes in
Mr Delamere says herbal cigarettes should not be regarded as a safe alternative to tobacco.
“It concerns me that these cigarettes are sometimes presented as a ‘healthier’ alternative to tobacco or as
stop-smoking aids. In fact, in terms of levels of tar and particulate matter herbal cigarettes are similar to tobacco.
“Regardless of the substance, inhaling smoke from any burning organic matter is dangerous to your health.”
Mr Delamere said the risks of developing respiratory problems, heart disease, strokes and cancers due to smoking herbal
cigarettes is likely to be markedly increased in comparison to non-smokers.
“I am particularly concerned about the marketing of Ecstasy herbal cigarettes, which are available in Australia, and
may soon be on sale here. This brand is marketed to appeal to young people, with promoters attempting to link the
cigarettes with illicit drugs.”
Mr Delamere said that herbal cigarettes were not currently subject to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 as they did
not contain tobacco.