Part 1 provides a short introduction, states the purpose of the consultation and outlines what is being consulted on. It then provides a guide to help readers identify the parts of this consultation document and what each part contains.
Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand. Around 4500 to 5000 New Zealanders die each year from their own smoking or exposure to the smoke of others. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer, serious respiratory diseases and cardiovascular disease, including strokes and heart attacks.
The Government is serious about reducing the enormous harm, suffering and loss of life that smoking causes. It is a priority issue for the nation’s public health.
New Zealand has a long history of implementing measures to counter the harms of smoking. The Government’s official tobacco control programme dates back nearly 30 years. The combination of measures taken over that time has steadily reduced smoking rates, but the negative impact of smoking on population health is still too great.
The Government is committed to further reducing the prevalence of smoking in New Zealand. It has set an aspirational long-term goal of making New Zealand essentially a smokefree nation by 2025.1 The Government continues to implement a comprehensive tobacco control programme and is pursuing a range of initiatives and options to increase its effectiveness. Among these options, the Government is now considering a plain-packaging regime for tobacco products to further discourage smoking, help reduce smoking prevalence and improve population health.
A plain-packaging regime for tobacco products2 means tightly regulating every aspect of their appearance in order to prevent any form of tobacco marketing, promotion or advertising occurring on tobacco products and tobacco product packaging. This document presents the proposal to introduce plain packaging in New Zealand for public consultation.
inform New Zealand’s trade partners and invite their comment3
seek additional information relevant to the proposal.
The purpose of this consultation process is therefore to provide the public, the health sector, non-governmental organisations, business interests and New Zealand’s trade partners with the opportunity to comment on the proposal and have their views considered before the Government decides whether or not to proceed.