Cancer Council slams NZ tobacco exports
THE Cancer Council of Australia has slammed a $A35 million factory upgrade by New Zealand’s largest tobacco manufacturer which is set to quadruple its exports to Australia.
Imperial Tobacco expanded its factory at Petone, north of Wellington, after winning a worldwide tender to supply the Australian market.
After an 18-month upgrade, hi-tech equipment has been installed including a machine which can produce up to 8000 cigarettes a minute.
More than three billion cigarettes and 700 tonnes of roll-your-own tobacco are to be manufactured at the plant, which opened yesterday (Monday, August 6).
Cancer Council CEO, Ian Olver, says a capacity to manufacture more cigarettes will increase the chances of more smokers dying of cancer.
“Any short-term employment or economic gain for New Zealand should be balanced against the harm of death and diseases like cancer which could be prevented by reducing the smoking rates,” Professor Olver says in a statement.
The expanded New Zealand plant replaces capacity at British American Tobacco’s Sydney factory.