Hāpai, the holders of the National Tobacco Control Advocacy service applaud the Governments progress this week on New Zealand’s smokefree2025 goal. The proposed Tobacco Plain Packaging legislation passed the Committee stage by 108 votes to 13, followed the next day by the announcement that there will be extension of the Smokefree boundary at Parliament.
"It is becoming very clear that the majority of New Zealanders are aware of the harm that tobacco causes. We now need to ensure we do what we can to stop our children from taking the habit up, or to suffer the health consequences of second hand smoke." Recent surveys show that up to 80% of smokers want to quit, and they certainly do not want their children to replicate their smoking habit. "The research from Australia shows us that plain packaging will contribute, alongside other measures, to the prevention of our children and grandchildren becoming the next wave of tobacco addicted adults” states Zoe Hawke, General Manager of the Hāpai service.
John Key has previously said that Plain Packaging legislation will be in by the end of the year, and it looks like this promise is on track.
Zoe goes on further to say “As stated by Associate Health Minister Lotu-Iiga during the committee debate 13 people a day die from tobacco related illness, which would equates to around 42,000 people dying of smoking related illness by 2025. Not doing all that we can to prevent so many people from dying would be unforgiveable.
Hāpai also hope to see one day the newly designated area for smoking behind Parliament eventually transition into an e-cig only spot , so people like Winston Peters can sit down and use an e-cig for his quitting without the fumes of tobacco around"