Plain packaging legislation could decrease number of smokers in NZ even further

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne

According to the Ministry of Health, there are less smoking adults in New Zealand. In 1983, 33% of adults were smokers, compared to 15% right now. But smokefree organisations say the Government need to make plain packaging of cigarettes an immediate priority.

Australia have taken the lead and have seen results since implementing plain cigarette packaging.

Figures show that in the last year, the consumption of cigarettes in Australia has decreased by 13%. In the last three years since the plain packaging and tobacco tax increases came in to effect, consumption of cigarettes has plunged 19.6%.

Smokefree Coalition Chair and National Smokefree Working Group member Dr Jan Pearson says, “Standardised packs and annual tax increases have provided a powerful double-whammy that’s saving many lives across the ditch,"

The evidence is clear that plain packaging stops tobacco companies’ ability to advertise through their clever and attractive branding. That means fewer people will die of smoking-related diseases, and fewer children will grow up to become the next generation of addicted smokers. Other states aren't scared of big tobacco and we shouldn't be either.”