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Key’s position on plain packaging made plain

16 February 2016

Key’s position on plain packaging made plain

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) congratulates Prime Minister John Key on his announcement regarding the progress of the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill.

John Key stated that with several other countries proceeding with similar legislation without court cases being brought against them, that the New Zealand Government felt confident about the bill progressing.

Key sought advice late in 2015 on New Zealand’s position and was reassured. “The advice I got back was that they felt we were on very firm ground. They didn't feel there was really any issue." He added that it was his expectation that the bill would become law at some point.

ASH Director, Stephanie Erick, is thrilled with Key’s announcement. “This is a really important step towards reaching the 2025 goal of a smokefree Aotearoa NZ. Australia is already seeing huge benefits, and I can’t wait for us to see those gains for our communities here.”

Since implementing standardised (plain) packaging in Australia in 2013, there has been a drop in smoking prevalence and an increase in calls made to their Quitline service.

Erick added that she was confident in the Ministry of Health being able to implement effective packaging imagery, with the benefits extending beyond just current smokers to help protect children. “We look forward to seeing this law change so that standardised packs can be implemented sooner rather than later.”

ASH is the leading organisation campaigning for effective action to achieve a Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand by 2025.

ENDS


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