Southern DHB Smokefree team are welcoming the regulation of standardised packaging of tobacco products that comes into force tomorrow.
Health Promotion Advisor Joanne Lee says standardised packaging is something her team have been waiting to happen for a number of years. “We’re excited to see this happening at last, and pleased that cigarettes will now be packaged to depict the exact product they are.”
Retailers will have a six week grace period where old stock can be distributed, and a further six weeks for this old stock to be sold. From 6 June 2018 tobacco products can only be sold in standardised packs.
All tobacco packaging will be plain brown and green-coloured and will include a number of graphic images showing the health consequences of smoking. Brand and product names will be permitted but these must be in a standard colour, position, font size and style.
The aim of plain packaging is to reduce the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products, increase the noticeability and effectiveness of health warnings, and reduce the ability of retail packaging to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.
“Tobacco products are unlike any other consumer products – they kill two out of three people who smoke, and more than 5000 New Zealanders die of smoking-related illnesses each year. Having all packaging the same will hopefully see a decrease in youth smoking.
“Standardised packaging is an investment in the long-term health of our population and is part of a comprehensive package of tobacco control measures to help us reach the 2025 goal whereby more than 95% of our population will be smokefree,” says Ms Lee.
For additional information about standardised packaging, the Smokefree Environments Act and the Smokefree Environments regulations, please see the Ministry of Health website. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control/smokefree-law
Free support is available for smokers in the Southern district who want to stop smoking from the Southern Stop Smoking Service. Phone (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242, email the service at firstname.lastname@example.org, or refer online at www.kaitahu.maori.nz/online-referrals
*Photograph left to right: Joanne Lee, Health Promotion Advisor and Debby Newton, Smokefree Coordinator holding tobacco in standardised packaging.