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NZ tobacco plain packaging will help reverse death toll

New Zealand's tobacco plain packaging laws will help reverse 1 billion global death toll (Cancer Council Australia)

New Zealand’s tobacco plain packaging laws will help reverse 1 billion global death toll

The health benefits of plain packaging for tobacco will soon be enjoyed across the Tasman, following the New Zealand government’s announcement today that it will be the second country after Australia to adopt the groundbreaking policy.

Cancer Council Australia has congratulated the New Zealand Government on its decision.

Kylie Lindorff, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Tobacco Issues Committee, said the policy should end the use of cigarette packaging as a form of tobacco advertising in New Zealand, just as laws introduced in Australia last December have done here.

Ms Lindorff said the announcement would meet with fierce resistance from the international tobacco industry, as occurred in Australia.

“The most outspoken critics of plain packaging have been the tobacco companies and their supporters, which simply highlights how important the look and feel of the packaging is to promoting the sale of tobacco products,” she said.

“We’ve had evidence on the effectiveness of glossy packaging to lure new smokers for decades.

“In the 2½ months since the laws were introduced in Australia, we’re seeing signs that plain packaging may exceed our expectations on encouraging established smokers to quit as well.

“Calls to the Quitline increased significantly, and we’ve also heard anecdotal reports of smokers mistakenly thinking the content of cigarettes has changed – when all that’s changed is how the tobacco products are packaged.

“The announcement in New Zealand is a very encouraging development.

“On current trends, a total of 1 billion people globally will die from the direct effects of smoking in this century since tobacco products became mass-marketed.

“If more countries follow Australia, and now New Zealand’s lead, we can turn this terrible but preventable tragedy around.”


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