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Health Ministry admits tobacco law is outdated; prosecutes

Health Ministry admits tobacco law is outdated; prosecutes anyway

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says it is a breakthrough that the Ministry of Health now admits the need to update the law for non-burning tobacco products.

The 1990 legislation, written for chewing tobacco, may inadvertently ban new ‘heat-not-burn’ products – a matter currently before the courts. This morning, the Ministry of Health prosecutor said that legislation needed to be brought up to date and that these changes were ‘in train’, according to Stuff.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “The current law is cruel – smokers are taxed into poverty, and then told that alternatives, such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burns, are illegal. The Ministry acknowledges the law is outdated, so why proceed with court action?”

“Every e-cigarette retailer and consumer has reason to worry when the Ministry of Health is taking criminal prosecutions while even acknowledging that the law is an arse.”

“With the Ministry making this acknowledgement, the only reason the Government has left to not change the law is its addiction to tobacco taxes.”

Note: Tobacco excise taxes account for 2% of all government revenue.


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