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Smoking rates among Indigenous peoples have remained stubbornly high around the world, despite stigmatizing anti-smoking campaigns and massive increases in cigarette taxes. In New Zealand, a pack of cigarettes now costs the equivalent of almost $25 US.

Māori women are one of the most socially deprived groups in New Zealand, and have the highest smoking rate of any demographic there, at 36 percent. Pregnant Māori women are 35 percent more likely than the general pregnant population to be smokers. Māori men also smoke at a high rate of 31 percent.