Hone Harawira says tobacco companies should be shot

Smokefree NZ campaigner and former MP Hone Harawira is calling for tobacco companies to be "shot" in a Duterte-style crackdown on cigarettes.

Appearing on The AM Show in the wake of host Duncan Garner's campaign to ban smoking in cars, he  launched a blistering attack on those he saw as responsible for the public health crisis -  including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"Smoking is killing New Zealanders and killing kids that don't have a choice when we allow smoking in cars," Mr Harawira says.

"Who cares what the tobacco companies say? They should be up against the wall and get bloody shot right now."

Surveys suggest one in five children are exposed to smoke in cars each week - that's 100,000 children. It can cause respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma, sudden unexpected death in infancy, and also increases the risk of cancer.

Public health campaigners have laid down the challenge to Ms Ardern, with prominent GP Dr Lance O'Sullivan telling her to "man up" and "do the right thing".

But Ms Ardern says she wants to see a consensus on the issue first as the Government "can't pass things without support".

Mr Harawira is publically ridiculing her for failing to take immediate action.

"What I can't believe is how poor Jacinda's response was yesterday. To talk about Jenny Salesa as the Minister having looking for support. She didn't need to look. It's all over the everywhere," Mr Harawira told Garner.

"This is a simple situation. I suggest if the Greens and New Zealand First - you don't actually need Labour to say yes - if the Greens and New Zealand First go have a chat to Simon Bridges - it could happen tomorrow."