May 09, 2014
MPs get message on plain packaging
The National Maori Tobacco Control Advisor believes MPs are getting the right message about plain packaging.
The health select committee heard submissions in Auckland this week from groups for and against the change.
Next week it will hear from people involved in the Australian case where the shift to plain packaging is being defended in an international court.
Skye Kimura-Paul says one of the strongest submissions came from a smoker speaking on behalf of Maori tobacco control leadership group Te Ara Ha Ora.
"She’ll purchase the dearest packet that looks nice. She doesn't like the other packets that are affordable because they are not as pretty. It was sad in some respects to see one of our whanau tell her story of being an addicted smoker. However, the health select committee saw the reality that it actually does matter to smokers what kind of brand they smoke," she says.
Skye Kimura-Paul also welcomed the Government’s announcement that from November the duty free limit on tobacco would drop from 200 cigarettes to 50.
There will also be duty and GST levied on tobacco sent from overseas.
Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia hinted at the change in a speech earlier this week in Melbourne, where she discussed New Zealand and other countries in Oceania matching the drop in Australia.
The government had considered phasing out duty free tobacco completely, but that would mean smokers would have to pay duty or dump any cigarettes they were carrying on them at the airport.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SKYE KIMURA PAUL CLICK ON THE LINK
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