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Minister welcomes select committee report on plain packaging

Hon Tariana Turia

Associate Minister for Health

7 August 2014

Minister welcomes select committee report on plain packaging

Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia has welcomed the Health Select Committee report for the Smokefree Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill saying it is another significant step towards a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.

The bill has proposed a number of amendments that will ensure that the effects of branding and advertising of tobacco products are minimised.

“This bill is crucial in reducing the appeal of tobacco products and smoking particularly amongst our young people. It will reduce the wider social acceptance and approval of smoking and tobacco products and increase the effectiveness of mandated health warning messages and images,” says Minister Turia.

“We must do everything we can to reduce the likelihood of our people, especially our rangatahi of acquiring false perceptions of the huge harm that is caused by smoking.”

“There have been some interesting amendments as a result of the select committee process, including the recommendation to include in the health messages, the harmful effects of smoking on culture.”

“A key finding from the committee came from their visit to Australia as part of an exchange programme. The data highlighted that daily smoking rates amongst those aged 14 and older have declined from 15.1% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2013, the lowest rate recorded to date. This is very impressive evidence received since the introduction of plain packaging in Australia.”

“There was intense interest in the bill with some 15,682 submissions received. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Dr Paul Hutchison and his committee in giving the bill such a thorough analysis. I am delighted that the bill has been reported back ahead of time, and I look forward to the bill being passed as an early priority in the 51stParliament,” says Mrs Turia.

This bill seeks to amend the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990, so as to give effect to the Government’s decision of 18 February 2013 to introduce a plain packaging regime for tobacco products in New Zealand.

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