Parents are rewarding their kids with cigs for doing their homework, a tobacco control research found. Levin-based smoking cessation trainer Sue Taylor declared that the “carrot and stick” tempt was a serious problem and had created a “schoolyard tobacco black market” where kids as young as 12 were selling cigs for up to $2 to other children. Their parents also used cigs as rewards to control smoking behavior and to “keep children out of the way”.

Mrs Taylor, chairwoman of the Maori Tobacco-Free Alliance, reported her findings were simply anecdotal, with many other stories coming from investigated members.

Levin’s Waiopehu College vice-principal, Guy Reichenbach, argued that parents rewarding kids for doing homework, or a schoolyard cigarettes black market, had “totally not” come to the school’s attention.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has analyzed the anti-smoking group and Maori leaders, saying usual Maori are being blocked with a massive tax on tobacco smoking that most of them don’t want.

Mr Peters, a smoker, was speaking at yesterday’s finance and consumption select committee hearing on the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, which proposes four annual 10 percent tax increase on smoking products.