Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

PHA calls for plain packaging before tobacco industry regains momentum – New Zealand Doctor

PHA calls for plain packaging before tobacco industry regains momentum

Public health Association  Tuesday 13 September 2011, 10:26AM

The Public Health Association (PHA) has written to the Prime Minister and Cabinet urging them to follow Australia and legislate for plain packaging on tobacco as soon as possible. The PHA believes the tobacco industry will quickly refocus its marketing efforts on the branding on cigarette packs, now the public display of tobacco products is to be banned.

Dr Keating said delegates to last week’s PHA annual conference applauded the government’s leadership in legislating to remove tobacco products from retail display.

But Dr Keating said there was also disquiet that the tobacco industry will waste no time in redirecting its investment toward ‘in-home’ marketing, probably even before the deadline for the dismantling of tobacco displays in retail outlets.

“We don’t want the government to lose momentum – plain packaging will help prevent the uptake of smoking particularly by young New Zealanders – avoiding the premature deaths of 5000 of them, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and saving taxpayers millions.

“It is inevitable New Zealand will introduce the same legislation as Australia at some stage, so there is little point in delay, and much to be gained by acting now.

“Recent New Zealand research1 clearly indicates young people relate very strongly to cigarette packaging.

“There is no doubt branding functions as advertising, and tobacco executives have admitted as much in their internal documents,” says the PHA’s National Executive Officer Dr Gay Keating.

“Once bought and left lying around people’s homes, branded packets colourfully encourage young people to pick up the habit and make it harder for ex-smokers to stay smokefree.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>