2nd June 2017, Volume 130 Number 1456

Scott Metcalfe, Peter Murray, Carsten Schousboe

Could New Zealand’s response to our tobacco challenge1 be furthered by targeting tobacco product waste? Delany et al in the Journal in recent months have proposed a new smokefree legislative…

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Tobacco consumption remains a major public health issue in New Zealand. It also generates a lot of waste. Cigarette butts are commonly seen on our streets and are an environmental hazard. Seeing this waste in our outdoor spaces is a visible reminder of tobacco use. Action to reduce this waste may reduce this hazard and support a smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand.


Tobacco consumption is a significant national public health issue. The waste it generates—tobacco product waste (TPW)—is also an environmental hazard. Targeting TPW through novel policies/regulations—such as a cigarette butt deposit scheme—may serve the dual purposes of reducing an environment nuisance and progressing Aotearoa New Zealand to its goal of being smokefree by 2025.

Author Information

Scott Metcalfe, Public Health Medicine Specialist, Wellington; Peter Murray, Advanced Trainee in Public Health Medicine, Wellington; Carsten Schousboe, Senior Health Economist, Wellington.


The Journal’s reviewers provided helpful comments on an earlier draft, some of which we have integrated into this viewpoint article.


Scott Metcalfe, Public Health Medicine Specialist, 16 Chatham Street, Wellington 6023.

Correspondence Email


Competing Interests



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