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Minister welcomes public feedback on tobacco

28 November 2007

Minister welcomes public feedback on tobacco displays

The government is seeking public feedback on a consultation document on the future of tobacco display in New Zealand, Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.

The document seeks feedback on three options for the future of tobacco displays: current requirements with enhanced education and enforcement, further restrictions on tobacco displays or a total ban on displays altogether.

Mr O’Connor said the last changes to tobacco display requirements were made in 2003 as part of the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act, which allows retailers to display 100 packets of tobacco or 40 cartons of tobacco products. There are also controls on how displays are set up and their proximity to children’s products.

“Since these laws were introduced there has been increasing public interest in the issue,” said Mr O’Connor. “Retail displays are now the only place where many young people are exposed to significant quantities of tobacco products and it is timely that the law around tobacco display is reviewed.

“The consultation document will be accompanied by a youth focused version - Tobacco Displays - Tell Us What You Think! I encourage anyone who has a view on the issue to make a submission.”

Mr O’Connor said the consultation document is the latest part of an ongoing tobacco control programme.

“Tobacco control is a high priority for this Labour-led government. In Budget 2007 the Government invested $43.6 million in additional funding over four years for smoking cessation services.

“Other initiatives include outlawing smoking in indoor workplaces, campaigns against second-hand smoke, and introducing graphic images on cigarette packets early next year.”

The consultation document will be available on the Ministry of Health website from 3 December. Submissions close on 15 February 2008.

ENDS

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