People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- February 19, 2013
The New Zealand government will legislate plain packaging of tobacco products, making it the second country (after Australia) to introduce plain packs.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (featured on the New Zealand Herald) website, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said the legislation was another step on the path towards a smoke-free nation by 2025. Watch the press conference below.
Mrs Turia said plain packaging would make more explicit what tobacco is – a product that kills 5,000 New Zealanders each year.
“Current tobacco packaging not only helps promote smoking to young and vulnerable people, it also helps keep smokers smoking. This move to plain packaging will remove the last remaining vestige of glamour from these deadly products," she added.
Ms Turia said she was expecting the tobacco industry would challenge the move, and that legislative changes would not be made until the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute with Australia had concluded. This could take up to 18 months, she said.
Honduras, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic have challenged Australia’s plain packaging laws in the WTO, which Australia is now fighting.
Despite that, Ms Turia said she expected plain packs would be on New Zealand’s shelves by next year.
FCA members react to the New Zealand Government's announcement:
- Australia ranks first with labelling
- Australia defeats Big Tobacco's challenge!
- FCTC - Packaging and labelling