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Plain packaging welcomed, and the sooner the better

Plain packaging welcomed, and the sooner the better

Smokefree Coalition media release, 19 February 2013

The Smokefree Coalition congratulates the Government on its decision, and says introducing plain packaging is among the most important steps it can take towards reaching its target of a smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

“Introducing plain packaging is just plain common sense,” said Smokefree Coalition Director Dr Prudence Stone.

“It will see us standing shoulder to shoulder with Australia against big tobacco, and will remove the tobacco industry’s last methods of making smoking appear glamorous and sophisticated to our children.”

Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Judi Clements said plain packaging could significantly reduce smoking.

“This could save our health system nearly $2 billion and if we invest that money towards our future generations it will send the clear signal that the physical and mental health of our people is more important than the financial interests of international tobacco companies.”

Smokechange Managing Director Jo Houston said plain packaging will increase the decline in the number of New Zealanders who smoke, which has been happening far too slowly.

“This is especially so among Maori and Pacific communities. Now is the right time for this sort of courageous move.”

Member organisations of the Smokefree Coalition also say the plain packaging decision was important because the Government should be leading the way in controlling tobacco; not falling behind other countries.

Parents Centres New Zealand Chief Executive Viv Gurrey says if we wait too long, it will just become harder to achieve.

“Removing tobacco displays in shops took too long and the benefits to our children were delayed. I hope we’re not making the same mistake with plain packaging. In the interest of protecting New Zealanders and our future generations from tobacco, we support swift action in turning plain packaging into a reality.

“Plain packaging already enjoys large public support, and the Government taking this opportunity to leave a legacy for tomorrow's New Zealanders, could not have come soon enough.”

ENDS


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