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Tobacco industry shouldn’t pause plain packaging

18 February 2016

ASH director says tobacco industry shouldn’t pause plain packaging


Yesterday British American Tobacco announced that it was considering legal avenues to fight the Smokefree Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill. This followed John Key’s announcement earlier this week that he anticipated that the standardised (plain) packaging bill would become law this year.

Stephanie Erick, Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), appeared on TVNZ’s Breakfast show this morning and spoke on the urgency of standardised packaging being implemented.

She said the tobacco industry wants New Zealand to delay action to create a ripple effect around the world but that their tactics simply would not work, adding that implementing standardised packaging was a fundamental measure to reach the Smokefree 2025 goal.

Erick made reference to the World Health Organisation’s strategy to implement standardised packaging internationally and feels that New Zealand has an opportunity to be one of the leaders by joining Australia, Ireland and England. “It’s just time for New Zealand to join in.”

Erick is hopeful that there will be good news on the bill’s progress come World Smokefree Day on May 31, when the World Health Organisation is calling for international action on standardised packaging.

ENDS

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