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Ireland shows the way with plain packaging tobacco law

Ireland shows the way with plain packaging tobacco law

The Māori Party congratulates the Irish Government for passing plain packaging tobacco legislation this week.

“Good on Ireland for showing political nerve in the face of a powerful tobacco industry.

“The Māori Party is determined to see plain packaging legislation here in New Zealand progress through Parliament, sooner rather than later”, says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.

Former Associate Health Minister and Māori Party Co-leader, Dame Hon Tariana Turia, introduced the plain packaging bill to Parliament more than two years ago.

Māori Party Co-leader Hon Te Ururoa Flavell doesn’t buy the reason for the Government stalling on progressing the plain packaging bill. The Health Select Committee reported favourably on the bill in August last year.

“Waiting for the World Trade Organisation decision means more people die or are sick from smoking-related illnesses. We’re tired of standing at the graveside of loved ones who have had their lives cut short from this highly addictive and poisonous drug”, says Mr Flavell.

According to the Ministry of Health, around 5000 individuals die each year from smoking or second-hand exposure. That’s 13 deaths every day which affect thousands of whānau.

“All it takes is courage and the same resolve that Tariana had to halt the decline in health and indeed the avoidable deaths of too many of our people who get caught in the smoking trap,” says Mr Flavell.

The Māori Party co-leaders will be encouraging the Associate Health Minister Hon Sam Peseta Lotu-iga to lead on this bill and implement other tobacco controls so the Government stays on track with its target of Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.

Next month Dame Hon Tariana Turia will receive the Luther L Terry Award in Dubai for her leadership in worldwide tobacco reform.

“We’re extremely proud of her advocacy which has saved the lives of thousands of New Zealanders. The best way to honour her is to pass this plain packaging bill and keep the pressure on,” says Mrs Fox.


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