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Cancer Society Backs Bold Measures In Government’s Proposal For A Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan


Wellington, 15 April 2021 –
Cancer Society says Government’s
proposed smokefree plan includes bold and forward-thinking
measures that are needed at this time to make smokefree 2025
a reality.

Smoking is the biggest
cause of cancer and preventable deaths in New Zealand. It is
estimated that tobacco kills about 13 New Zealanders
every day.

The proposed Smokefree 2025 Action Plan
includes significantly reducing the number of retailers able
to sell tobacco, limiting the nicotine content of
cigarettes, and raising the age of purchase every year so
that anyone born after 2004 could never lawfully be sold
tobacco.

Chief Executive Lucy Elwood says New Zealand
needs a suite of bold and brave measures to dramatically
improve the health of New Zealanders.

“This proposal
goes beyond assisting people to quit. The Government is
demonstrating a commitment to preventing young people from
starting to smoke and bring smoking rates down.”

“We
congratulate Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall for
progressing this important work and for including strong and
effective actions to both reach Smokefree 2025 goals and
reduce health inequities,” says Lucy Elwood.

“We
encourage the public to let the Government know they support
the Smokefree 2025 goal. They can do this by making a
submission, signing our recent petition
calling for a significant reduction in the number of shops
able to sell tobacco or share their stories with us to
inform our own submission.”

On average, six shops
are selling tobacco within a 10-minute walk of New Zealand
secondary schools. There are four times more tobacco
retailers in low-income communities where smoking rates are
highest.

“These glaring inequities are why we
need to protect future generations from the harms of
tobacco,” says Lucy Elwood. “Tobacco is the most harmful
consumer product in history and needs to be phased
out.”

The Cancer Society also strongly supports
the plan to reduce the appeal and addictiveness of tobacco.
The tobacco industry designs cigarettes to be highly
addictive due to their high nicotine content and makes them
very appealing by using additives and flavours. Prohibiting
flavours, and significantly reducing their addictiveness
would prevent young people from starting and support people
trying to quit.

“We will engage in the
consultation process and support the strongest and most
effective actions to ensure New Zealand will be smoke-free
by 2025,” concludes Lucy Elwood.

Read
more:

  • Our petition calling for a significant
    reduction of tobacco retailers is available here.
  • Five
    Strategic Approaches to Achieving the Smokefree
    Aotearoa 2025
    Goal
    .

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