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Māori Party congratulates England on plain cigarette packaging

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

England has followed Ireland and Australia in passing legislation to reduce the appeal of cigarettes by introducing standardised packaging.

"We think it’s a fantastic victory for public health in England and we ask our Government to show the same fortitude," says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.

"We know how much pressure the tobacco industry are applying internationally. Aotearoa needs to show the same courage as our commonwealth cousins," says Mrs Fox.

A plain packaging bill was introduced in to New Zealand’s Parliament more than two years ago by former Associate Health Minister and Māori Party Co-leader, Hon Dame Tariana Turia.

The passing of the legislation is delayed pending a World Trade Organisation decision on whether the Australian Government’s decision to pass plain packaging legislation breaches its trade rules.

Māori Party Co-leader Hon Te Ururoa Flavell says New Zealand has an international reputation for its smokefree reforms which the Māori Party is determined to uphold.

"The Government has committed to a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. If we’re going to reach this target we need to show some courage.

"Other countries have already shown the way - they’re not waiting for the WTO decision. We should be doing everything we can to reduce the harm of this poisonous and highly addictive substance," says Mr Flavell.

According to the Ministry of Health, around 5000 individuals die each year from smoking or second-hand exposure.

Next week, Hon Dame Tariana Turia will receive international recognition for her leadership in worldwide tobacco reform at the International Conference on Tobacco Reform.

"We’re extremely proud of her advocacy which has saved the lives of thousands of New Zealanders and we are committed to continuing this work," says Mrs Fox.

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