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Minister releases Tobacco Action Plan

Hon Annette King
Minister of Health

22 December 2000 Media Statement

Minister releases Tobacco Action Plan

The Government’s action plan on reducing smoking was released today by Health Minister Annette King. The plan outlines initiatives designed to reduce the number of New Zealanders who die or suffer ill health as a result of smoking tobacco.

“New Zealand is recognised internationally as having a comprehensive tobacco control strategy - our rate of tobacco consumption is among the lowest in the world. Despite this there are still far too many New Zealanders smoking - particularly Mäori and young people," said Mrs King.

“The release of this action plan lets people see exactly what we are doing to reduce tobacco-related illness and death. It also enables groups and individuals to have an input into the future direction of tobacco control in this country.”

Mrs King said key initiatives in the tobacco action plan included the smokefree Bill currently before Parliament.

“Close to 400 New Zealanders die every year because of exposure to second-hand smoke. A major focus of the smokefree Bill is to improve protection of people from exposure to other people’s smoke, particularly in their work places.

“The plan also includes cessation initiatives, such as the national freephone Quitline (0800 778 778), subsidised nicotine patches and gum, enforcement of the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990, and details of research being carried out into tobacco issues.

Mrs King emphasised that the plan focuses largely on the work of the Ministry of Health and Health Funding Authority.

“I recognise that non-government organisations and health workers make an invaluable contribution to tobacco control - for example, in the promotion of smokefree environments and quitting smoking. The Government relies heavily on these groups and individuals to take the smokefree message to the community.

“This action plan, however, is a statement of the Government’s role in tobacco control. I would welcome input on what we could do better and ideas for new initiatives to reduce smoking.”

More…


Mrs King said the Ministry of Health would shortly be releasing a framework for obtaining better input into the National Drug Policy from groups, organisations and individuals. The National Drug Policy sets out the Government’s policy and intentions with regard to tobacco, alcohol, and illicit and other drugs. It relies on the combined efforts of all government and non-government agencies.

“As part of this improved communication, a National Drug Policy website is being developed to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on drugs - including illicit drugs and alcohol, as well as tobacco. The website will have input from a number of agencies including Police, Justice, Education, Te Puni Kokiri, the Alcohol Advisory Council, and Youth Affairs,” said Mrs King.

ENDS

paper follows...


\WORK PROGRAMME ON TOBACCO CONTROL 2000/01

POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENT

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill.
Proposals include: prohibiting smoking in all educational institutions except tertiary, further restrictions on the display of tobacco products, restricting smoking in most workplaces, and giving judges the ability to prohibit a person from selling tobacco, or to impose conditions on the sale of tobacco, for a specified period upon a second conviction for the sale of tobacco to a minor. Ministry of Health Education, OSH as required Before the Health Select Committee, submissions have not yet been called for.
Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) to the Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill.
The Minister of Health proposes introducing an SOP to the Bill to further strengthen the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990. Ministry of Health Education, OSH, Justice SOP currently being drafted by Parliamentary Counsel Office.
Options for tobacco product disclosure and for reducing the harm caused by tobacco by monitoring or regulating the constituents in tobacco products sold in NZ. Ministry of Health Policy is being developed on possible options. Public consultation based on reports prepared by ESR is planned for later this year or early 2001.
Strengthened health warnings on tobacco product packets. The Government introduced regulations in 1999 (Smoke-free Environments Regulations 1999) to require New Zealand cigarette and tobacco packets to carry larger, stronger health warnings. The new warnings included the phone number of the Quitline. In the past 12 months, 16% of callers to the Quitline said they acquired the number from a tobacco packet. Ministry of Health New health warnings now on tobacco products.
Litigation against tobacco companies - work is underway to assess the potential for litigation. New Zealand is participating in a trans-Tasman working party which was set up by the Australian Attorneys-General. To be confirmed Ministry of Health/Health Funding Authority, Justice, Crown Law Office, DPMC, Commerce Currently reviewing options.


Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Tobacco taxation. Last tobacco excise increase was in May 2000, when the excise on a packet of 20 cigarettes was increased by $1, including GST. Ministry of Health Treasury Ongoing advice on the benefits of tobacco taxation to reduce tobacco consumption.
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Contribution to negotiation of an International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Input into policy development is also sought from the tobacco industry and health agencies. Ministry of Health Foreign Affairs and Trade The degree of New Zealand participation in meetings in October 2000 and March 2001 is being finalised.

ASSESSMENT, ADVICE AND TREATMENT SERVICES

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Subsidised Nicotine Patches and Gum Programme.
$6.18 million per year for subsidised nicotine patches and gum was announced in June. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Subsidised patches and gum have been available nationwide through the Quitline since 1 November 2000. Stage two is now underway whereby approved smoking cessation providers can apply to distribute patches and gum exchange cards.

National freephone Quitline.
Health Funding Authority, Quit Group - Health Sponsorship Council, Cancer Society of NZ, Te Hotu Manawa Mäori Ministry of Health Has been in operation since mid-1998. Nearly 50,000 calls received annually. 40,000 calls were received in the first month that nicotine patches and gum exchange cards were available through the Quitline.
Funding for Mäori smoking cessation services
$5 million per year of additional funding for Mäori smoking cessation services announced in May 2000 budget. Health Funding Authority finalising services to be purchased. Health Funding Authority/Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Nicotine replacement therapy and counselling services for Mäori women
The national smoking cessation pilot programme for Mäori women - Aukati Kai Paipa - is underway. It involves up to 2500 Mäori women smokers over two years. The programme is delivered by Mäori providers in Mäori communities, and is developing best practice models for the delivery of cessation services involving NRT and counselling for Mäori. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Quit and Win competition
A Quit and Win competition was recently piloted in the Hawkes Bay area. There are plans to extend the concept to other areas. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Under development.


Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Nicotine patches and gum becoming a general sales medicine
Nicotine patches and gum are now available via general sale, following a recent decision by the Medicines Classification Committee. Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Smoking cessation clinics in HHSs
The Health Funding Authority will be funding smoking cessation clinics in some HHSs, for inpatients and parents of children who are inpatients. Health Funding Authority Ongoing.
Private smoking cessation providers
There are a number of groups and individuals, some partly Government-funded, currently providing smoking cessation assistance. Cessation help can be provided in a number of ways - from group support sessions, counselling, and the provision of nicotine replacement therapies, to hypnotherapy and acupuncture. IPAs, organisations, groups, individuals Ongoing.
Other education and cessation programmes
A number of organisations, groups, and individuals receive funding from the Health Funding Authority to provide general education on healthy lifestyles, which includes advice and support relating to not starting to smoke, quitting smoking and smokefree environments. For example, marae-based health services, tamariki ora/wellchild services, pregnancy services, and health promotion services, asthma prevention services etc. Health Funding Authority, organisations, individuals, groups Ongoing.

HEALTH PROMOTION

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
National Quit multimedia campaign to promote quitting and the Quitline. Has been in operation just over a year. Generating a high level of calls to the Quitline. Nearly a quarter of those who speak to a Quit advisor are Mäori. Health Funding Authority/ Quit Group Ministry of Health Ongoing. Television commercials for Maori with a SHS focus are currently under development.
World Smokefree Day
Celebrated every year on 31 May, and in the weeks leading up to 31 May. Raises awareness of tobacco control issues. Health Funding Authority, National Planning Group currently consisting of the Quit Group, Cancer Society, Health Sponsorship Council, Te Hotu Manawa Mäori, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, National Heart Foundation. Ministry of Health, Public Health Services, health workers The theme for World Smokefree Day (31 May) in 2001 is ‘Clearing the Air’ - focusing on the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke.
Second-hand smoke campaign
Work is being done on costings, key messages etc for a media campaign on the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke to support World Smokefree Day. Health Sponsorship Council, Quit Group, Ministry of Health. Ongoing.
Smokefree schools, kura kaupapa, pre-schools, kohanga reo
Providing smokefree education to schools and early childhood centres, encouraging smokefree environments. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Education, Public Health Services, health workers Ongoing.
Development and distribution of tobacco control health education resources
Many tobacco control health education resources are available, with new resources under development. Resources focus on a number of areas including quitting, smokefree areas, smokefree teens, and not selling tobacco to minors. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Smokefree sponsorship activities
Ongoing smokefree sponsorship of sporting and cultural events to promote healthy lifestyles. Auahi Kore and Lungfish have joined the Smokefree brand. All three are promoted widely at a number of events including kapa haka, netball, the Pacific Beats awards, and at the Smokefree Rockquest. Health Sponsorship Council Health Funding Authority/Ministry of Health, Public Health Services, health workers Ongoing.

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Tobacco control health promotion and advocacy carried out by Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and health workers. A number of NGOs are committed to tobacco control and advocacy, and the promotion of smokefree environments. Staff in Public Health Services and other health workers are also heavily involved in the on-going promotion of tobacco control initiatives, such as smokefree environments and quitting smoking. Cancer Society of NZ, Te Hotu Manawa Mäori, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of NZ, National Heart Foundation, Action on Smoking and Health, Smokefree Coalition, Apärangi Tautoko Auahi Kore etc, Public Health Services, health workers Ongoing.
Other Government agencies (non-health)
A number of Government agencies include tobacco control and smokefree promotion in their wider programmes. For example:

Youth Affairs: a number of the conservation corps programmes funded through the Ministry of Youth Affairs particularly promote non-smoking and encourage project members to stop smoking by the end of the course.

Education: drug education is a component of the mental health key area of learning in Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum which was distributed to schools last year and will be mandated in 2001. Drug Education: A Guide for Principals and Boards of Trustees, which was recently developed to support the curriculum, provides a framework to use when developing health education programmes that include drug education and policies and procedures for dealing with drug issues in schools. Youth Affairs, Education, Te Puni Kokiri etc Ongoing.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Enforcement/monitoring of the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 (the Act) - sales of tobacco products to minors
Educating retailers, carrying out test purchases at retail outlets, taking prosecution action where appropriate. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority Public Health Services Ongoing.
Enforcement/monitoring of the Act - smokefree environments
Educating employers about the requirements of Part I of the Act with regard to smokefree workplaces, following up complaints, taking prosecution action where appropriate. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority Public Health Services Ongoing.
Enforcement/monitoring of the Act - ban on tobacco product advertising
Following up complaints of tobacco product advertising, educating about the requirements of the Act with regard to tobacco product advertising, taking prosecution action where appropriate. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority Public Health Services Ongoing.
Enforcement/monitoring of the Act - other
Other education/monitoring and enforcement regarding the Act. For example, receipt of annual legislated tobacco industry returns and reports, enforcing the ban on the sale of chewing tobacco, issues around the location of vending machines, etc. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority Public Health Services Ongoing.

INFORMATION, RESEARCH AND EVALUATION

Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Quarterly surveys of tobacco smoking prevalence (AC Nielsen) Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority On-going.
Monitoring of tobacco consumption figures (Department of Statistics) Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority On-going.
Survey of smoking behaviour of fourth formers
Funded by the Health Funding Authority and carried out by Action on Smoking and Health in recent years. Information on fourth form smoking prevalence in secondary schools. This survey has been carried out in 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999 and will also be carried out in 2000. Health Funding Authority, Action on Smoking and Health To be carried out in 2000.
Lifestyle survey of fourth and sixth form students
The Youth Lifestyle Study includes over 100 questions, mostly about smoking and related demographics. Health Sponsorship Council, Cancer Society The survey is being carried out in 50 secondary schools this year.
Training of tobacco control workers
On-going training with a focus on enforcement of the Act. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority General ongoing training. Training on the use of the National Cessation Guidelines for health professional and community health workers is in progress.
National co-ordination of tobacco control activities.
Currently support is made available for national conferences, newsletters and consultation exercises.

Some support is also provided for Mäori auahi kore workers via Te Hotu Manawa Mäori.
Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Advice on the effects of the additives in tobacco products
ESR has been contracted to review the available information on the constituents of tobacco products that influence the appeal and addictiveness of these products and to identify possible opportunities for harm reduction and areas of research needed. Ministry of Health/ Health Funding Authority Report due December 2000.


Initiative Lead Government Agency Other agencies Status
Evaluation of tobacco control initiatives
The Health Funding Authority has specifically funded evaluation of the following programmes: the national Quitline, the Quit multi-media campaign, and the national smoking cessation pilot programme for Mäori women - Aukati Kaipaipa. Health Funding Authority /Ministry of Health Ongoing.
Smoking cessation guidelines
Guidelines for Smoking Cessation, a resource for health professionals, was developed and distributed widely in 1999. Health Funding Authority/National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability/Cancer Society Ongoing distribution.
Second-hand smoke research

 The Ministry has commissioned ESR to survey the level of exposure of bar workers to second-hand smoke, compared to workers who have protection from second-hand smoke in their workplaces.
 The Ministry has commissioned research into the mortality attributable to exposure to second-hand smoke.
 The Ministry is also considering funding further research into morbidity attributable to exposure to second-hand smoke.

The Ministry is aware that a number of health groups are looking into the extent and effects of people’s exposure to second-hand smoke. Ministry of Health, health groups, ESR, Wellington School of Medicine, Health New Zealand Results of exposure of bar workers to SHS due October 2000.

Results of mortality attributable to SHS due October 2000.


ENDS

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