27 July 2017

The New Zealand Medical Association has updated its position statement on Smokefree Aotearoa, originally developed in 2010.

The new position statement calls for additional measures if New Zealand is to achieve essentially smokefree status by 2025. As a priority, we recommend the Government establish a tobacco control strategy and action plan with a strong emphasis on Māori-focused outcomes. This should include:

  • further tobacco excise tax increases beyond CPI, with revenue used for smoking
  • cessation and other programmes to achieve Smokefree 2025
  • measures to regulate and reduce retail availability of tobacco products9
  • well-resourced mass media campaigns to deter update and promote quitting
  • enhanced and targeted smoking cession support services
  • school-based education programmes
  • extension of smokefree environments.

Other measures that should be strongly considered include regulating to reduce the attractiveness of cigarettes (such as by the removal of flavouring), and regulation of nicotine content.

We also support making nicotine-containing e-cigarettes legally and readily available in New Zealand for adults, with an appropriate regulatory regime that ensures due care for unintended harms and risks.