27 Aug 2013

Maori drawn to 'huffing' because it's cheap - drug group

8:14 pm on 27 August 2013

A new report has found that Maori are nearly four times more likely to accidentally die from huffing butane, LPG and other hydrocarbons than non-Maori.

The report, from the Health, Quality and Safety Commission, recommends that the Government develop measures to help Maori kick the practice.

It found that between 2002 and 2008, up to 90 people aged 15 to 24 died from unintentional poisoning and 38 of them were Maori.

The Drug Foundation says that's because sniffing solvents such as butane is a cheap way to get high.

Its executive director Ross Bell says it's a matter of cost and accessibility.

He says the kind of products that people are dying from are cheap household products, which are easier to get than alcohol or illegal products.