Moving towards plain packaging of tobacco productsHealth
Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia, has today announced Government’s latest decisions on the introduction of ‘plain packaging’ for tobacco products.
Cabinet has now agreed in principle to introduce a plain packaging regime in alignment with Australia, but this is subject to the outcome of a public consultation process to be undertaken later this year.
Mrs Turia said “Plain packaging has the potential to make a significant to our goal of making New Zealand smokefree by 2025, alongside our other policies and programmes to discourage people from taking up smoking and helping smokers to quit.”
“Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand, and we must be prepared to take bold steps towards achieving our goal.”
“We have banned the open display of cigarette and tobacco packs in all dairies and other shops with effect from 23 July this year. Plain packaging is the next step to ensure that once they are in the hands and homes of smokers, the packs don’t promote anything other than our serious health warnings and quit messages.”
Mrs Turia said there were strong arguments for following Australia in stopping tobacco companies from using the design and appearance of their packaging to promote their deadly products.
“I am confident that we can bring in a plain packaging regime that will meet all our international commitments, including a major global treaty on tobacco control as well as a range of multilateral, regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements.”
“But we are committed to continuing a careful and robust process to develop the policy before we make final decisions,” Mrs Turia said.
“The public consultation process is a transparent way of reviewing the evidence and testing the case for plain packaging, and giving the public, the health sector and business interests a chance to have their say.”
Final decisions on whether to introduce plain packaging legislation will not be made until after the results of the consultation process have been taken into account.
Mrs Turia said the Government was determined to reduce the death, disease, and huge wider social and economic costs caused by smoking.