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British Smoking Bans Welcomed By Kiwi Groups

10 December 2008

British Smoking Bans Welcomed By Kiwi Groups

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ and the Cancer Society of New Zealand

Health groups welcome UK move on tobacco displays and urge NZ to follow Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and the Cancer Society of New Zealand welcomed the announcement tobacco displays are to be banned in England and Wales. The consultation by the British Government found 84 percent of more than 100,000 responses backed the display ban. ASH director, Ben Youdan welcomed the ban and urged for a similar measure for New Zealand.

"The majority of New Zealanders, including smokers, want tobacco out of sight in shops. 59% of New Zealand smokers support removing tobacco displays, and 67% of all New Zealanders back a total ban" said Mr Youdan. In 2001 Iceland was the world's first country to remove displays, later joined by Thailand, Tasmania, the British Virgin Islands, and all but one Canadian province. Ireland and New South Wales have passed laws to remove displays next year.

New Zealand's Ministry of Health Consultation on tobacco displays received a total of 557 submissions, with more than 80 percent of submissions in favour of a ban on tobacco displays.

“The Cancer Society sees the removal of tobacco displays from shops as a key step in protecting Kiwi kids from tobacco marketing. We are now seeing the UK move to protect its children, but our children will continue to be exposed. The government needs to be aware of the strength of public opinion supporting this measure," said Belinda Keenan, Cancer Society tobacco control advisor.

“Young people who are frequently exposed to tobacco displays are up to three times more likely to become regular smokers," said Ms Keenan. In September the Health select committee recommended a ban on tobacco and cigarette displays. The Government is due to respond early next year to the Health select committee recommendation.


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