23 August 2012:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation congratulates Health Ministers Tony Ryall and Tariana Turia on their firm stand on tobacco control in the face of British American Tobacco's (BAT) campaign to advertise and lobby against plain packaging of cigarettes which it claims is "an assault on intellectual property".
NZNO kaiwhakahaere and spokesperson for the Smokefree Coalition, Kerri Nuku says, “It was great to hear the Minister of Health Tony Ryall tell the giant tobacco company PR machine that they are wasting the hundreds of thousands of dollars they are intending to spend trying to change plans for reducing the appeal of tobacco through plain packaging.”
“NZNO fully agrees with the wise decision to put the health of New Zealanders before commercial interests.”
“For too long we have accepted the death and harm caused by tobacco. Tobacco companies have known their product causes cancer for over 60 years and yet they are still trying to hook new smokers with their advertising. Plain packaging will take some of that power away,” Nuku says.
Tobacco smoking kills 5000 New Zealanders every year, including deaths due to second-hand smoke.