20 February 2013

The New Zealand Medical Association congratulates the Government on following through on its plan to introduce a plain packaging regime for tobacco products. “We see this as a positive move on the way to achieving a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025,” says NZMA Chair Dr Paul Ockelford.

“While it’s important to promote anti-smoking messages to the public and inform them of the health consequences of smoking, we also need an environment that will be conducive and supportive towards quitting smoking.

“Research has shown that retail tobacco displays influence the uptake of smoking among adolescents and also make it harder for smokers to quit. The NZMA sees the move to plain packaging of cigarettes to be the next logical step in the overall campaign to reduce the number of people smoking by reducing the effectiveness of brand advertising.”

The NZMA in 2010 published a position statement on tobacco control, which called for plain packaging and graphic warnings to replace all brand imagery on tobacco products.

“Our goal is to support the eventual phasing out of cigarettes as a consumer product,” says Dr Ockelford. “We look forward to that happening.”