February 11, 2014
Plain packaging bill at first stage
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says New Zealand has a sovereign right to protect its citizens, and shouldn’t kowtow to international tobacco companies.
As Associate Health Minister Mrs Turia yesterday introduced the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill for its first reading.
The Government says it won’t pass the bill through all its stages until it knows the result of court action against the Australian government’s plan packaging laws, but Mrs Turia disagrees with that decision.
She says smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death internationally, and it also contributes to profound health and social inequalities in outcomes for Maori and Pasifika peoples.
There is no other consumer product that is so widely used and directly poses such a high level of health risk to users, particularly long-term users.
She says branding and packaging make a big difference to how young people see products, so the bill should have a significant effect.
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