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Don’t Let The Tobacco Industry Use Shops To Reach Our Kids

Contributor:
Uschi Klein
Uschi Klein
Don’t Let The Tobacco Industry Use Shops To Reach Our Kids

“Smoking is often called a paediatric disease because nicotine addiction invariably begins in childhood and adolescence,” said Dr Philip Pattemore for the Paediatric Society of New Zealand. “We need to do everything in our power as a community to protect children from starting smoking.”

Barnardos spokesperson Peter Gerrie says children are much more susceptible to advertising than adults and there is clear evidence that retail displays of tobacco make children more susceptible to starting smoking.

“The simple truth is that we’re letting tobacco companies use shop displays to reach children,” said Mr Gerrie.

Plunket National Policy Analyst Cathy Kern says that a product with such a devastating impact on the community has no place on the shelves of dairies, supermarkets and petrol stations.

“This is the only product that kills when used as intended – it’s not ok to put it in front of our kids as if it is a normal product”, said Ms Kern.

Parents Centres New Zealand Chief Executive, Viv Gurrey says action is required to insulate children from tobacco advertising because despite their best endeavours parents need support.

“Very few parents want their children to smoke, including smokers. But parents can’t do it alone. Often times advertising and displays are positioned close to discretionary spend items such as sweets and chocolate and send a strong message to kids that smoking is ok. It certainly appears to undermine the values that many parents aim to communicate to their children.” said Ms Gurrey.

Over the past year many western countries have moved to get tobacco out of sight in shops.  The child advocacy groups say Kiwi kids deserve the same level of protection as their Aussie, British and Canadian cousins.

 

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