The director of a Maori tobacco-free organisation is calling on the Government to increase the tax on loose tobacco to help encourage Maori to quit.
Shane Bradbrook told Waatea News it is a myth that loose tobacco is less harmful.
Mr Bradbrook says recent research showed people who smoked roll-your-own cigarettes are inhaling up to 28% more smoke than those who smoked tailor made cigarettes.
Mr Bradbrook said that, coupled with a high Maori smoking population, is a recipe for gloom.
An increase in tax needed to be supported by an increase in access to support services for Maori, he said.