Marta Rychert1 has raised several matters that we would like to comment on.
The proceedings underway against Philip Morris International are a criminal prosecution, not a civil proceeding, and there is no irregularity with the prosecution process. There is no relationship between the consultation process and the prosecution, which is managed separately through the Ministry’s legal team with the Wellington Crown Solicitor.
The consultation meetings with the tobacco industry that Ms Rychert mentioned were part of a wider consultation with a range of stakeholders, including academics and health sector agency staff on options for the regulation of emerging tobacco and nicotine-delivery products. Stakeholders were informed at the beginning of the process that IQOS was out of scope.
The Ministry has been and will continue to be transparent in its tobacco control policy development, including in the area of e-cigarettes and emerging tobacco and nicotine-delivery products.
The Ministry also takes seriously its obligations under Article 5.3 of the FCTC and publishes records of all meetings with tobacco industry representatives.
We are always available to meet with Ms Rychert or any other academic researchers to discuss any aspect of tobacco control, including emerging tobacco products.