New measures are being proposed to accelerate progress towards becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced.
“Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke kills around 12 people a day in New Zealand. Recent data tells us New Zealand’s smoking rates continue to decrease, but they need to reduce more quickly, especially for Māori and Pacific people,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.
“We want to make sure that New Zealanders, particularly our underserved communities, don’t continue to suffer the disastrous effects of smoking tobacco. If we are to have a chance of achieving the smokefree goal, we need to change our approach.
“Our proposals for a Smokefree 2025 Action Plan scale up current initiatives such as mass media campaigns. They sit alongside new policy options, including the introduction of a smokefree generation and making smoked tobacco products less available, less addictive and less appealing.
“Over 75 percent of smokers have tried to quit but smoking is primarily driven by addiction. This makes quitting extremely difficult even though most smokers want to do so.
“The discussion document has new initiatives that, if adopted, will change the environment to make it much easier to quit, rather than only focusing on individual smokers,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.
The consultation on the Proposals for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan is open until 31 May 2021 and feedback can be submitted here.
“Ministry of Health will analyse the feedback and use it to inform a draft action plan, which will be considered by Cabinet,” Dr Ayesha Verrall said.