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Govt commits to smokefree NZ by 2025

ONE News — March 14, 2011

The government has committed to a goal of New Zealand becoming smokefree by 2025.

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia today released the government’s response to the recommendations of the Maori Affairs Committee Report into the effects of tobacco use among Maori.

As well as a committment to making New Zealand smokefree by 2025, the government will look into law changes around the promotion, packaging and display of tobacco products.

It will also investigate regulating the use of additives and nicotine levels in tobacco products.

Turia said it was a landmark moment in New Zealand.

“It is about us asserting our own identity as a nation and defining for ourselves the role tobacco is allowed to play in the life of this country – this is not something we are just going to leave in the hands of the tobacco industry,” she said.

“There is still so much to be done, but I’m more confident than ever that we can reach the goal of New Zealand being a nation free of tobacco.”

The government will also look at raising the fine for retailers who sell tobacco to children.

However it has not agreed to make the tobacco industry pay for smoking cessation programmes, nor require those selling tobacco to be 18 years or older.

The Smokefree Coalition has said it is delighted with the government’s response.

The inquiry into the tobacco industry and the effects of tobacco use among Maori ran throughout 2010 and received 260 submissions.

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