June 08, 2017
Plain packaging rules to go ahead
Regulations requiring tobacco products to be sold in plain packages will come into effect from next march.
The packs will be a brown/green-colour with enlarged health warnings and brand names in a standardised font.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says more than 5000 New Zealanders die of smoking-related illnesses each year and standardised packaging is the logical next step toward the Smokefree 2025 goal.
The plan is backed by the Maori party, with co-leader saying it will reduce the appeal of tobacco products and smoking, particularly for children and young people.
Zoe Hawke from Hapai Te Hauora’s National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service says it’s an important step for tobacco harm reduction.
She says there is no single intervention that will take New Zealand to the Smokefree 2025 goal, so it’s important plain packaging stands alongside other initiatives like increased availability of e-cigarettes, smoking cessation services and a firm commitment to smokefree taxation policy.
The move was delayed while the Government waited to see what happened with legal action taken by major tobacco companies against similar laws in other countries.
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