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Plain packaging – another step towards a Smokefree Aotearoa

Plain packaging – another positive step towards a Smokefree Aotearoa

The Asthma Foundation, as a founding member of the Smokefree Coalition, congratulates the government on their decision to bring in legislation to put tobacco products into plain packaging.

The Asthma Foundation, as a founding member of the Smokefree Coalition, congratulates the government on their decision to bring in legislation to put tobacco products into plain packaging.

The design of a cigarette pack is a key promotional tool, especially to our younger smokers. These young New Zealanders, who have never been exposed to direct tobacco marketing, have the lowest smoking rates ever. Plain packaging will therefore play a major part in reducing uptake, and lower smoking rates.

“We need to give our tamariki the best chance to thrive and be healthy; reducing smoking uptake with plain packaging is a positive step in the right direction” said Angela Francis, chief executive of the Asthma Foundation.

As well as causing 5,000 deaths each year, smoking has many negative health effects for those with a respiratory condition including being the main cause of COPD and lung cancer. Smoking is a major asthma trigger to some people and can make asthma control harder to achieve while increasing the need for medication.

Kyle Perrin, medical adviser for the Asthma Foundation agreed saying “this announcement is a major step forward in terms of tobacco control in New Zealand. Lower smoking rates are a critical factor in our efforts to reduce the burden of respiratory disease in the community.“

“We applaud the government’s goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 and we are proud that New Zealand has taken such a positive step” said Angela.

Smoking Facts

Smoking has many negative health effects including increased risk of diseases such as:
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema)
• Lung cancer
• Heart and circulation disease
• Stroke
• Cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and pancreas
• diseases of the urinary tract, pelvis, bladder and digestive tract
• blindness

Smoking causes about 25% of all cancer deaths in New Zealand, and one out of every 10 deaths worldwide.

Around 5,000 New Zealanders die each year from smoking.

Second-­hand smoke, where non-­smokers breathe in the smoke of others around them, can cause heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, asthma and the worsening of asthma symptoms, eye and nasal irritation and nasal sinus cancer.

Exposure of non-­smoking women to second-­hand smoke during pregnancy can reduce foetal growth, and is also associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Around 350 New Zealanders die each year because of exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke.

About the Asthma Foundation

The Asthma Foundation is New Zealand’s sector authority on asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

We advocate to government and raise awareness of respiratory illnesses, fund research for better treatments and educate on best practice. We provide resources on our website and support our affiliated asthma societies and trusts in providing education, support and advice.

For more information, visit the Asthma Foundation’s website www.asthmafoundation.org.nz

ENDS

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