This article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, summarises tobacco retail licensing schemes implemented in countries overseas and reviews how effective these schemes might be as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy.
Despite New Zealand’s reputation as a leader in tobacco control, the retail environment for tobacco is relatively unregulated, particularly when compared to the licensing regimes for alcohol products and psychoactive substances (eg, synthetic cannabis and other ‘legal highs’). There are currently no restrictions on who can sell tobacco, nor where it can be sold. The lack of an accurate tobacco retail register presents a challenge for those enforcing retail legislation. This paper summarises tobacco retail licensing schemes implemented in overseas jurisdictions, as these represent precedents on which New Zealand policies could be based. We also review how effective these schemes might be as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. We conclude that a positive licensing scheme could increase compliance with existing smokefree legislation, and enable the introduction of further measures to control the supply of tobacco. Reducing tobacco availability is an important part of the range of interventions needed to achieve a smokefree New Zealand, and we urge the Government to redress the lack of progress in this area.
The full article can be viewed in the New Zealand Medical Journal (note – password required until October 2016)
For more information or to request a copy of the article, please contact:
University of Otago