Tobacco Control Update

The war against tobacco needs to be renewed. It is now clear that New Zealand will not reach its target of being smokefree by 2025 without tougher measures. But will the Government do what is needed?

The Ministry of Health has now conceded that it won’t hit the target of fewer than five percent of New Zealanders smoking in 2025. It is proposing a shakeup of funding for anti-tobacco groups, which might perhaps help. But there are other more effective ways to cut smoking.

The first is to bring in plain packaging without delay. At present the legislation will not be finalised till Australia’s legal battle with Big Tobacco over plain packaging is finished. There is no good reason to wait.

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