By 3 News online staff
Former Maori Party co-leader Dame Tariana Turia is set to receive international recognition for her work in tackling smoking in New Zealand.
The former Associate Health Minister will receive the 2015 Luther L Terry Award in March in Dubai after her nomination by the Smokefree Coalition was accepted.
The award is named after the late US Surgeon General who established the foundation for public health scrutiny of the dangers of tobacco use.
Smokefree Coalition director Dr Prudence Stone says the nomination was to acknowledge Dame Tariana's "tremendous, tireless and courageous" work championing a smokefree New Zealand.
This included passing legislation increasing excise tax, banning retail displays of tobacco products, reduced duty-free allowances and plain packaging of cigarettes.
"She has also promoted smokefree cars where children are present and set in place a $20 million Innovation Fund for projects that will increase effective cessation among New Zealand's priority populations," Dr Stone says.
More than 10 projects are funded by the programme.
The nomination was supported by Pacific Heartbeat, the Heart Foundation and Hapai Te Hauora.
Pacific Heartbeat and Hapai Te Hauora have also praised Dame Tariana for standing up to criticism from Parliament and the tobacco industry as well as her commitment to tobacco control for Maori and non-Maori.
source: newshub archive