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New Zealand’s Proposed Plain Packaging

The discussion about New Zealand’s proposed law on plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products, largely followed the earlier debates on Australia’s law.

New Zealand notified its intention to introduce the legislation in documentG/TBT/N/NZL/62, which includes a link to its health ministry for further information. The proposal was agreed in principle by the Cabinet in April 2012, New Zealand said, and was open for consultation from July to October. Information and comments are being compiled and no draft legislation has been issued so far, it said.

The delegation said smoking is the most serious preventable cause of death in New Zealand, and is most serious among the Maori population. The government aims to make the country essentially smoke-free by 2025, it said.

Expressing concern were the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Mexico, Zambia, Cuba and Zimbabwe. They said the measure would hurt their tobacco producers and would restrict trade more than is necessary to meet the health objectives.

Supporting New Zealand were Australia, Norway and Canada, and the World Health Organization (an observer in the committee). They said the measure is justifiable in view of how serious are the problems caused by smoking.

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Examples of the new plain cigarette packaging in Australia Photo: Rex Features