December 21, 2015
Way cleared for tobacco packaging ban
The pressure will be on the Government to pass the plain packaging law for tobacco early in the New Year now Australia has won its legal battle over a similar law.
An international trade tribunal has ruled tobacco giant Philip Morris can’t use Australia’s bilateral trade agreement with Hong Kong to block the law.
Action on Smoking and Health says plain packaging is needed to reboot New Zealand’s efforts to be smokefree by 2025.
It says research among young smokers shows large graphic health warning are effective among those who want to stop smoking, and plain packaging can deter people from ever starting or relapsing.
Health Survey data for the 2014-15 year shows a minimal 1.6 percent reduction for adults who smoke at least monthly and 1.3 percent reduction in daily smoking over the past 3 years.
Maori continue to have the highest rates of smoking despite a 2.2 percent reduction in the number of daily smokers.
Zoe Hawke from Te Ara Ha Ora, the National Maori Tobacco Control Leadership Service, says the results for Maori are persistently unacceptable and it’s time to adopt solutions that will make the difference.
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