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Smoking packages become standardised

By aemetha, Sep 8, 2016 | | |
  1. aemetha
    Tobacco companies are now banned from advertising their brand on cigarette packets.

    The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament on Thursday evening, by 108 to 13. The law would make it illegal for tobacco companies to print any branding on cigarette boxes, only allowing the name in small plain type with graphic warnings about the risks of smoking.

    Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-liga said he hoped to see the new packs in stores late next year. "It's just another measure to attack the premature deaths around tobacco...that's a huge human cost for New Zealanders," Lotu-liga said. Up to 5000 people die prematurely each year due to smoking in New Zealand, he said.

    The minister said he was confident the Government was on firm ground to win any legal battles brought by tobacco companies, with more countries taking similar steps towards plain or standardised packaging. The graphic warnings would take up 75 per cent of the packaging, with the text and colour on the rest of the pack similar to what is used in Australia.

    "Standardised packaging will make a measureable difference to smoking rates in New Zealand, just as it has done in Australia. It will make a difference to families and communities who see every day the harm smoking causes," Lotu-liga said. "The bland packs will maximise the impact of health warnings and cut out any false impression that smoking is cool or glamorous." Lotu-liga said the exact design would be finalised through a review process.

    The bill had overwhelming support, with just NZ First and ACT opposed. MPs across different political parties showed their support for the bill by holding up oversized cigarette boxes with the proposed packaging design. However, NZ First MP Barbara Stewart said her party was unconvinced standardised packaging would reduce New Zealand's smoking rate. Stewart said the Government had an "ulterior motive and it's not public health", referring to the billions brought in through cigarette taxes.

    The bill was first introduced in 2013 and supports the Government's aspirational goal of making New Zealand smokefree by 2025.

    8 September 2016


  1. aemetha
    Tobacco giant warns of plain packet 'black market'

    [IMGL="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52217&stc=1&d=1473528517[/IMGL]New Zealand adopting plain packaging on cigarettes will fail to deter smokers, a global tobacco company has said.

    A bill which will mean cigarettes can only be sold in bland brown or green packaging passed its final reading in Parliament this week.

    The bill means mandatory health warnings will cover at least three quarters of the packet and tobacco company logos will be removed.

    It's taken three years for the legislation to pass after tobacco companies tried to sue the Australian government. That legal battle failed last year, and even though the law was still facing challenges, such as by the World Trade Organisation, with other countries also introducing plain packing, legal action was less likely.

    But British American Tobacco's New Zealand spokesman Saul Derber said plain packaging in Australia had been a failure - and it would fail here too. "Not only is the Australian tobacco plain packaging experiment failing to meet its objectives, the policy is having serious unintended consequences," he said. "The tobacco black market has grown by over 20 percent in Australia since the introduction of plain packs, costing the Australian government about $NZ1.5 billion in lost revenue in 2015, Mr Derber said.

    He said with no graphic health warnings, no controls preventing sales to youth and no tax it was likely the introduction of plain packaging would grow the black market here as well. "Plain packaging is an attack on companies' intellectual property rights and undermines the principles on which international trade is founded," he said.

    Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said yesterday the government was confident it could win any legal action taken by tobacco companies. "We can't determine what will happen in the courts, but we feel like we've seen the evidence from overseas, we're pretty comfortable with that, and we're going to move forward," Mr Lotu-liga said.

    Plain cigarette packaging is expected to hit New Zealand shelves from next year.

    10 September 2016
    Radio New Zealand
    Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron
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