From today, it is illegal for tobacco companies in New Zealand to sell cigarettes in branded packaging but the implementation has had a mixed response.
A new study has suggested that threats of lawsuits given by the tobacco industry contributed to the stall in New Zealand’s plain packaging legislation by at least three years.
In March, the government introduced plain packaging as part of a comprehensive tobacco control programme. This means tobacco companies are no longer be able to sell cigarettes in branded packaging; instead they are sold in generic olive brown packets retaining the enlarged graphic health warnings which are already prominent on the current branded packets. Justinn Cochran has spent the last four years researching the effects of tobacco packaging. We talk to her about her work, the psychological impact of tobacco imagery and how this can contribute to the country’s smokefree 2025 goal.