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WHO report finds NZ a leader in tobacco control

8 February 2008


WHO report finds NZ a leader in tobacco control

Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor said today he is delighted that New Zealand has once again been held up as a leader in the global fight to stop the tobacco epidemic.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 has been released in New York by mayor Michael Bloomberg and World Health Organization Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. It pulls together information on tobacco monitoring and control initiatives from 179 countries.

“This report holds several New Zealand initiatives up as an example to the rest of the world and shows that we are at the forefront of tobacco control internationally,” Mr O’Connor said.

The report also found that although there are now 16 countries that have introduced comprehensive smoke-free laws, New Zealand is one of only two countries to achieve a score of more than 8 out of 10 for legislating and enforcing these laws. The other country was Uruguay.

It also found that that New Zealand has “one of the world’s most advanced initiatives” in tobacco cessation treatment with the national freephone Quitline and subsidised nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

“The Labour-led government has a proven track record of action and investment in the battle to combat smoking,” Mr O’Connor said.

“But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We must continue to fight this deadly and highly addictive drug, which kills around 13 New Zealanders every day.”

Some of the most recent initiatives undertaken in New Zealand include the introduction of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets later this month, increased access to subsidised nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and a review of tobacco displays in retail settings.

For more information visit www.who.int/tobacco

ENDS

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