NZ Smokers Deserve a Sensible Plan this World No Tobacco Day
Philip Morris (New Zealand) Limited (PMNZ) is marking World No Tobacco Day by encouraging the New Zealand Government to move quickly and lead the world on tobacco harm reduction by implementing a sensible plan when it comes to the regulation of smoke-free products.
The Ministry of Health has recently announced its plans to consider how best to apply risk-proportionate regulation to all tobacco and vaping products, following a Wellington District Court ruling earlier this year that effectively legalised smoke-free alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Despite the well-known health risks associated with smoking, many people in New Zealand and around the world continue to smoke. The World Health Organisation predicts that there will be more than 1 billion people who smoke in 2025, about the same number as today. Their best choice would be to quit—but those men and women who would otherwise continue smoking should have access to and accurate information about less-harmful alternatives to cigarettes.
PMNZ hopes the New Zealand Government will act quickly to ensure there are risk-proportionate regulations applied to smoke-free products to ensure smokers understand the difference between cigarettes and smoke-free alternatives.
PMNZ General Manager, James Williams, said: “It is clear that despite the well-known health risks associated with smoking, many of the 600,000 men and women in New Zealand who smoke will continue to do so. Their best choice would be to quit – but many don’t. New Zealand is now in the perfect position to drive the switch from cigarettes to less-harmful alternatives. To achieve the switch, there must be appropriate regulations put in place urgently so that smokers have access to accurate information about the benefits of switching to smoke-free alternatives.”
“Ultimately, we want to accelerate the Government’s laudable Smokefree 2025 goal by replacing cigarettes with smoke-free products in New Zealand. However, we need the support of the government and regulators to make that happen. With appropriate government control and oversight – through risk-proportionate regulation – smoke-free products can have a meaningful and positive impact on public health,” Mr Williams said.
“For our part, we’re determined to deliver a smoke-free future through innovations that stand up to scientific scrutiny and that meet consumer needs,” he said.