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Cigarette branding: time to act - the choice is plain

Cigarette branding: time to act - the choice is plain

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products.

“New Zealand is missing out on health outcomes being enjoyed by Australia that have resulted from its plain pack legislation,” said Julia Rout, National Health Promotion Manager for the Stroke Foundation. Since 1 December 2012, tobacco manufacturers in Australia have been forced to sell their products in plain packs that carry only health warnings and have no way to catch or please the eye.

“Branded cigarette packs are attractive and misleading, especially to children,” continued Mrs Rout. “Research from Australia has shown that when young people look at plain cigarette packs, they believe the product is used by people who are less stylish and sociable. Smokers are more likely to consider giving up, and they are also more likely to think the quality of their cigarettes has diminished.”

This research, along with other powerful evidence supporting the implementation of plain packaging without delay, will be presented at today’s Health Select Committee. Smoking causes a 2 to 4 fold increase in the risk of stroke.

“New Zealand has been in the front line of eradicating smoking in public places and it must not be left behind on this. If it works in Australia, it will work here,” concluded Mrs Rout. “Any initiative such as this which prevents people starting or helps them to quit brings us a step closer to significantly reducing stroke, New Zealand’s third biggest killer.”

ENDS

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