News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Plain packaging for tobacco an investment in kids’ health

7 August 2014

Plain packaging for tobacco an investment in Kiwi kids’ health – Plunket

Plunket welcomes the Health Select Committee’s recommendation that the Bill to remove branding from tobacco products go ahead, saying the policy is ‘an important investment in the health of New Zealand children’. (The Select Committee’s report is here: http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/documents/reports/50DBSCH_SCR57000_1/smoke-free-environments-tobacco-plain-packaging-amendment)

The Health Select Committee considered over 15,000 submissions on the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill and recommended it is passed, with the name of the proposed legislation altered to ‘standardised packaging'. Plunket was among organisations to make a submission to the Select Committee backing the Bill as a necessary measure to protect the health and well being of our current and future generations.

“Plunket strongly supports this Bill and we welcome the Select Committee’s recommendation that it be passed into law. The best Australian evidence shows it is effective at increasing attempts to quit smoking, as well as discouraging young people from starting,” said Clair Trainor, Plunket Senior Policy Analyst. “This represents a huge untapped health gain for New Zealand children. The sooner we get on and reduce children’s exposure to second-hand smoke and to tobacco advertising in the home, the quicker we’ll start to improve these children’s respiratory health - and that of future generations.”

She said children’s exposure to tobacco advertising from packaging was considerable: “The latest Census data indicates that as many as six out of ten New Zealand children live in households where tobacco is smoked by an adult who lives there. Our own data finds Māori and Pacific children living in highly deprived areas are up to three to four times more likely to live with a smoker than those in middle or low areas of deprivation. This Bill would mean that children of smokers are no longer exposed to tobacco branding on packs inside their homes, which would bring their tobacco advertising exposure into line with that of other Kiwi kids.”

Plunket supports the Government’s goal of halving tobacco consumption by 2015 and achieving a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025, and says the law change is essential if the Government is to achieve the goal it set itself in 2011.

Elaine Gordon, Plunket Clinical Advisor said the health risks to children from exposure to second-hand smoke were significant, and reducing the risks form a central part of Plunket’s work: “Second-hand smoke is a known risk factor in Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant (SUDI - also known as SIDS or cot death) as well as coughs, colds, respiratory problems such as bronchiolitis, pneumonia, asthma and ear infections including glue ear. Children with asthma are especially sensitive to second hand smoke. It may cause more asthma attacks and the attacks may be more severe, requiring trips to the hospital.

“Plunket works in partnership with families and whānau to connect them with services that will support them to become smoke-free. During Plunket visits we have conversations and share information with families and whānau about the benefits of being smoke-free. All Plunket nurses are trained to deliver cessation support and in some cases Nicotine Replacement Therapy.”

She said that plain packaging was an important part of the range of policies and support services needed to protect children from the serious health impacts of second-hand smoke.

Notes

• Since introducing plain packaging in 2012, Australia’s Commonwealth Treasury reports tobacco clearances (including excise and customs duty) fell by 3.4% in 2013. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that in the March quarter 2014 the consumption of tobacco was the lowest ever recorded. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/tobacco-kff

• The Smokefree 2025 commitment was made by the Government in response to the Māori Affairs committee’s inquiry into the tobacco industry and the consequences of smoking for Māori.http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control/smokefree-2025

• In August 2013 the New Zealand Medical Journal reported Māori children are at twice the risk of being exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.

• Smoke exposure assessment, cessation support, and the promotion of smoke-free environments is a part of Plunket’s everyday work to help give every child the best start in life. This includes advocating for plain packaging on tobacco products to prevent harmful advertising messages reaching the under fives.

• Along with more severe health impacts, children who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke cough and wheeze more, have more difficulty getting over colds, and miss many more school days than children who aren’t exposed. Second hand smoke can cause other symptoms including stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, eye irritation, and hoarseness.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Te Wiki O Te Reo: Te Reo Māori Is For All New Zealanders — Minister

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the start of Māori Language Week today and invites all New Zealanders to give speaking te reo Māori a go. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news