27th July 2018, Volume 131 Number 1479

Martin Witt, Amanda Dodd, Heather Kimber, Hannah M Mulrine, Christina K Lewis, Emily Box

Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 is a commitment by the New Zealand Government to reduce smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels by 2025.1,2 The New Zealand Health Strategy states that…

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Dairies in Christchurch were invited to take part in a face-to-face survey that aimed to capture the views of owners/managers concerning the sale of tobacco, its relative importance to their business and attitudes to tobacco-free retailing.



Given the Government’s commitment to reducing tobacco availability to minimal levels by 2025, finding ways to decrease the number of tobacco retailers is an important task. We assessed the perceived importance of selling tobacco among dairy owners and managers.


We conducted a face-to-face survey to explore retailers’ views on selling tobacco products, tobacco retailer licensing and tobacco-free retailing. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.


Of the 112 individuals invited to participate, 62 (55.4%) completed the survey. Most respondents felt that selling tobacco was important for their business, and almost two-thirds had concerns about tobacco products being a security risk. Twice as many respondents thought tobacco retail outlet licensing was a potentially viable option as those who expressed caution. Almost one-third of respondents were potentially interested in becoming a tobacco-free retailer.


Selling tobacco products is perceived as important for many dairies, and just over half were not interested in becoming a tobacco-free retailer. However, there is some support among dairy owners/managers for tobacco product licensing. These findings strengthen the case for regulatory measures to decrease tobacco availability, as voluntary adoption of tobacco-free retailing is unlikely to result in substantial reductions in outlet numbers.

Author Information

Martin Witt, Manager Health Promotion and IT Services, Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury-West Coast Division Inc., Christchurch; Amanda Dodd, Deputy Health Promotion Manager, Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury-West Coast Division Inc., Christchurch;
Heather Kimber, Health Promoter, Community & Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch; Hannah M Mulrine, Public Health Analyst, Community & Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch; Christina K Lewis, Smokefree Enforcement Officer, Community & Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch; Emily Box, Health Promoter, Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury-West Coast Division Inc., Christchurch.


The authors wish to acknowledge Dr Lindsay Robertson (University of Otago), Dr Louise Marsh (University of Otago), and Dr Annabel Begg (Community & Public Health, Canterbury District Health Board) for their advice. We also wish to thank the survey respondents for their participation, and the Cancer Society research assistants and volunteers involved in participant recruitment and data collection.


Martin Witt, Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury-West Coast Division Inc., PO Box 13450, Christchurch 8141.

Correspondence Email


Competing Interests



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