New Zealand Law Society - Standard packaging of tobacco now law

Standard packaging of tobacco now law

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With a vote of 108 in favour and 13 against, Parliament has given a third reading to the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Standardised Packaging) Amendment Bill.

This will come into force on a day appointed by Order in Council, but must come into force within 18 months of the Royal assent.

The bill amends the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and gives effect to obligations and commitments that New Zealand has as a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, done at Geneva on 21 May 2003.

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says standardised packaging will make a measureable difference to smoking rates in New Zealand, just as it has done in Australia. 

"It will make a difference to families and communities who see every day the harm smoking causes," he says.

"The bland packs will maximise the impact of health warnings and cut out any false impression that smoking is cool or glamorous."

Under standardised packaging all cigarettes and other tobacco products will be in brown/green coloured packaging, with enlarged health warnings and tobacco company marketing imagery removed.

Regulations, which are needed for the law to come in to force, are currently under development following a public consultation that closed at the end of July 2016.