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Opinion | ASPIRE2025 support of Plain Packaging in New Zealand

18 February 2016

Leading researchers from ASPIRE2025 warmly congratulate the government on announcing that it will pass standardised packaging legislation within the year.

Co-director, Professor Janet Hoek, who has led several studies into standardised packaging, said: “We are very pleased to see the government recognises the strong evidence base and plans to bring New Zealand in line with the many other countries that are implementing this important measure.”

“Standardised packaging removes the mystique of branding and exposes tobacco for the lethal product it is. This measure will save many children and young people from a life of addiction and prevent them facing the severe health risks smoking poses.”

Professor Richard Edwards, co-director of ASPIRE2025 and co-head of the Department of Public Health, commented: “Plain packaging has contributed to on-going declines in smoking seen in Australia. The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household survey reported that 3.4% of young people aged 12-17 smoked tobacco daily and 95% had never smoked more than 100 cigarettes.”

ASPIRE2025’s research shows New Zealand could improve upon Australia’s regulations by tightly controlling the use of variant names, foregrounding the Quitline information present on packs, introducing new and more salient warnings, and requiring cigarette sticks to feature warnings.

Professors Hoek and Edwards note: “The government’s announcement creates an exciting opportunity to extend standardised packaging and catalyse progress towards our world-leading 2025 goal. We look forward to working with policy makers to develop a robust plan that sees smoking prevalence fall to five percent or below in all population groups.”

View here for more information on ASPIRE2025’s research into:
– How plain packaging works?
– What effect plain packaging is likely to have?
– What support there is for plain packaging?
– What other measures we should consider?

If you would like to contact the ASPIRE2025 team about our Plain Packaging research please contact:

Professor Janet Hoek
University of Otago
Email janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz

Professor Richard Edwards
University of Otago, Wellington
Email richard.edwards@otago.ac.nz