Report warns of high smoking rates among young Pacific males

The Pacific Community says tobacco companies are using "devious tactics" that are deemed illegal elsewhere around the world to sell their products in the Pacific.

A report by the PC has found that in some Pacific nations as many as 52 per cent of boys aged between 13 and 15 are smoking.

Nations with high teenage smoking rates include Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati.

Smoking is a major cause of preventable heart disease and the PC says 3 out of every 4 deaths in the Pacific is related to heart disease.

The PC's Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga says the report also found low smoking rates for women in some Pacific nations, but it is very concerning that youth smoking rates are so high at the same time.