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30 June 2010

Ex-smoker takes diseased heart to Parliament

Ex-smoker Mohi Waihi took his damaged heart to the New Zealand parliament to show to a committee which is holding an inquiry into the tobacco industry.

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Ex-smoker Mohi Waihi took his damaged heart to the New Zealand parliament to show to a committee which is holding an inquiry into the tobacco industry.

Waihi told the Maori Affairs committee that he started smoking at 19 and had five heart attacks before getting a transplant from a 40-year-old female donor in 2005.

"I am just so glad I am here," he said.
 

About 40%t of New Zealand's 500 000 indigenous Maoris smoke -double the rate of the total adult population - and 22% of Maori deaths are attributed to smoking.

Two executives of tobacco giant Philip Morris International told the committee they accepted that smoking caused disease and death. "There is a consumer demand for it. The product is currently regulated and it can be legally sold and bought," said Nerida White, the company's regulatory strategy and communications director. - (Sapa, June 2010)

 
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