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NZ set to follow Australia’s lead on plain packaging

Clear the Air says: A group of Hong Kong anti-smoking advocates have agreed to make HK smokefree by 02 Feb 2022 !

The New Zealand government is poised to push for the introduction of plain cigarette packaging legislation.

New Zealand’s associate minister of health, Tariana Turia, says the cabinet has agreed in principle “to introduce a plain packaging regime in alignment with Australia”.

But she says the process will be subject to a public consultation process, which will be undertaken later in the year.

“Plain packaging has the potential to make a significant to our goal of making New Zealand smokefree by 2025, alongside our other policies and programmes to discourage people from taking up smoking and helping smokers to quit,” she said in a statement.

“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.”

New Zealand will ban the open display of cigarette and tobacco packs “in all dairies and other shops” from July.

The final decision will hinge on talks with the public and industry, which Ms Turia says are “a transparent way of reviewing the evidence and testing the case for plain packaging”.

However, Ms Turia says she is “confident” the government can launch the scheme while meeting its international commitments “including a major global treaty on tobacco control as well as a range of multilateral, regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements”.

International tobacco giants have spent this week challenging Australia’s world-first plain packaging laws in the High Court.

The companies say the Australian laws – due to come into effect in November – strip them of their intellectual property.

Britain’s government is also expected to introduce similar laws.

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