September 28, 2016
Bold steps needed for tobacco free generation
A Maori tobacco control advocate says it’s time to restrict where tobacco can be sold and who can buy.
Zoe Hawke from Maori public health service Hapai Te Hauora says initiatives like plain packaging will go some way to lowering demand from existing smokers and discouraging rangatahi from starting, but it’s not the whole picture.
There also needs to be licensing for sellers so communities can restrict where tobacco is sold.
"We don’t have any other product that kills where we don't have a licensing regime. If you look at gambling, if you look at alcohol, they too are harmful products and they have a licensing regime in place for those products so we need to look at how we do that for tobacco and hopefully through that measure we see less outlets selling tobacco to our community," she says.
Ms Hawke says New Zealand should also look at the tobacco free generation plan now being considered by Tasmania, where sale of tobacco to anyone born after 2000 would be barred.
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