Standardised Packaging Bill passed

  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

The Bill standardising the packaging of tobacco products has passed its third reading in Parliament today.

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga guided the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Bill through its final reading with a vote of 108 in favour to 13 against.

“Around 13 people died prematurely every day from smoking related illnesses. That is nearly 5,000 people each year. We want smokers to quit and we want to stop other people from ever starting,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“Standardised packaging will make a measureable difference to smoking rates in New Zealand, just as it has done in Australia. It will make a difference to families and communities who see every day the harm smoking causes.”

“The bland packs will maximise the impact of health warnings and cut out any false impression that smoking is cool or glamorous.”

Mr Lotu-Iiga says the passing of this legislation sends a clear message that the government is serious about ending the unnecessary deaths from tobacco use.

“Standardised packaging, along with the existing suite of tobacco control measures and quit smoking services, is a logical next step towards the Smokefree 2025 goal.”

Under standardised packaging all cigarettes and other tobacco products will be in brown/green coloured packaging, with enlarged health warnings and tobacco company marketing imagery removed.

Regulations, which are needed for the law to come in to force, are currently under development following a public consultation that closed at the end of July.