New Zealand: Plain packaging

April 20, 2012

The New Zealand cabinet has agreed in principle to introduce plain packaging for all tobacco products in New Zealand, following a similar move in Australia.

The packaging will display only health warnings and the contact details for Quitline – the government-funded service helping smokers stub out, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says.

“Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand and we must be prepared to take bold steps towards achieving our goal,” Mrs Turia said on Thursday.

“We have banned the open display of cigarette and tobacco packs in all dairies and other shops with effect from July 23 this year. Plain packaging is the next step to ensure that once they are in the hands and homes of smokers, the packs don’t promote anything other than our serious health warnings and quit messages.”

There will be a public consultation process on the proposed change, she added.

In December Australia will become the first country in the world to enforce plain packaging of tobacco products.

Lawyers for British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Philp Morris and Imperial Tobacco Australia told the High Court in Australia this week that plain packaging would extinguish their brands and logos.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (April 19, 2012)