Tobacco Achievements Summary Report August 2014
A document outlining key achievements in tobacco control
that has been tabled with the Bills office in
14 August 2014
When I first entered parliament in 1996, one in four New Zealanders aged 15 and over, were smoking daily. Secondary smoke exposure was part of our life; as was the loss of life to far too many generations of New Zealanders who die prematurely from smoking.
Tobacco reform was therefore a key priority for me when I was appointed Associate Minister of Health in 2008. I am so proud of the amazing achievements engineered by a highly motivated workforce; a passionate community of advocates and a responsive health sector in creating a pathway to a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.
In a relatively short period of time we have been able to reduce tobacco consumption in all types of tobacco products and across all population groups. The strategy has been a comprehensive campaign in all spheres of influence – health education, legislation, smoking cessation, and tobacco taxation. The political will to reduce smoking prevalence and consumption has been encouraging; the influence of the policy milestones negotiated in the Relationship Accord with the Māori Party has also been significant.
There are still areas of significant challenge. As a nation we must continue to support interventions which can support Māori, young adults and people with lower socio-economic status to become smokefree. There is more that we can do in enacting the Smokefree Environments Act. I have been impressed by the efforts of some local government bodies to make public outdoor spaces smokefree. I have loved the efforts in Wainuiomata to encourage their community to think about the children before they light up. All of us can become wellbeing champions in our own homes, our marae, and our communities.
The Government’s goal to be Smokefree by 2025 rests in all of our hands. It is a driven by the vision that families are entitled to be well; to enjoy long life; to be free of chronic illness. I commend this tobacco achievements report to all New Zealanders as a powerful message of what we can achieve, when we work together in the common pursuit of a Smokefree
Associate Minister of Health
Minister Turia was awarded
the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region award
for work on tobacco control on 31 May 2014, World Smokefree