New Zealand’s government has begun the process of requiring plain-packaging for all tobacco products sold in the country, a move that came to light recently in their neighbor to the south, Australia.
Early Tuesday morning, the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Products and Packaging) Amendment Bill was lodged with the Clerk of the House and will be ready for a first reading soon after Parliament goes back to work early in 2014, according to Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia, who spoke with Scoop.com.
Should the act be passed, it would eliminate a brand’s colors, marks and what Turia described as “marketing ploys designed to make tobacco products glamorous and attractive is an important step in reducing the uptake of smoking.” The plain-packaging would then have larger health warnings added to them. Turia said the act is an important step to reaching a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025.
While it remains to be seen how much opposition the proposal meets within Parliament, it could be facing a bigger challenge as the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ukraine, Honduras and Indonesia have all filed formal challenges with the World Trade Organization regarding Australia’s plain-packaging requirement, which could nullify the act if passed.
The Canadian province of Quebec has also started the process of adopting the plain-packaging requirement.