Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan: A Submission to the New Zealand Ministry of Health

Matthew Rimmer

Jacinda Ardern — A New Kind of Leader

Policy Submission

Matthew Rimmer, Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan: A Submission to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, New Zealand Government, 4 June 2021, https://works.bepress.com/matthew_rimmer/377/

Press Release

Niki Widdowson, ‘“Commit to Quit” on World No Tobacco Day’, QUT Media, 31 May 2021, https://www.qut.edu.au/news?id=176511

Media

Marlene Even, ‘New Zealand’s 2025 Smokefree Goal’, 2Ser 107.3, 2 June 2021, https://2ser.com/world-no-tobacco-day/

Inquiry

New Zealand Ministry of Health, Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan, Wellington: New Zealand Government, 2021 https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control and https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control/smokefree-aotearoa-2025 and https://consult.health.govt.nz/tobacco-control/smokefree2025-actionplan/

New Zealand Graphic Health Warning and Plain Packaging

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Recommendation 1

As part of building upon Helen Clark’s legacy in respect of the Smoke-Free Environments Act 1990 (NZ), Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand Government should pass bold and ambitious proposals for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

Recommendation 2

The New Zealand Government should learn from the legal disputes and the public policy debate over the plain packaging of tobacco products. This pioneering tobacco control measure was recognised as being an expression of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2003, and being consistent with the TRIPS Agreement 1994, the TBT Agreement 1994, and GATT 1994. The New Zealand Government should seek to make use of such flexibilities in international law in its development of tobacco control measures under the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

Recommendation 3

The New Zealand should implement a bold and ambitious Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan in order to implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2003, and protect public health in New Zealand.

Recommendation 4

The New Zealand Government should support enhanced Indigenous-led tobacco control measures — taking into account the Treaty of Waitangi 1840, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2003, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, and the establishment of the new Maori Health Authority.

Recommendation 5

The New Zealand Government should support social marketing campaigns to promote the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

Recommendation 6

As part of its increased regulation of digital platforms, the New Zealand Government should seek to engage in enhanced regulation of social media advertising by tobacco companies and e-cigarette companies. As well as targeting the tobacco companies, the New Zealand Government should focus on the behaviour of advertisers and the Internet influencers, and regulate the role of intermediaries, such as digital platforms, social media sites, and other Internet sites.

Recommendation 7

The New Zealand Government should invest in research, evaluation, monitoring and reporting of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

Recommendation 8

The New Zealand Government should provide for effective compliance and enforcement mechanisms for tobacco control measures in respect of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. The New Zealand Government should explore the need for law reform in respect of civil liability and criminal liability for tobacco companies.

Recommendation 9

New Zealand should establish a licensing system for all retailers of tobacco and vaping products. New Zealand should also encourage retailers to shift towards the sale of healthy products.

Recommendation 10

The New Zealand Government should reduce the retail availability of smoked tobacco products by significantly reducing the number of retailers based on population size and density.

Recommendation 11

The New Zealand Government should reduce the retail availability of tobacco by restricting sales to a limited number of specific store types.

Recommendation 12

The New Zealand Government should follow the lead of the United States and Singapore, and introduce a smokefree generation policy.

Recommendation 13

The New Zealand Government should encourage retailers and small businesses to stop selling smoked tobacco products, and instead diversify into the sale of healthier products.

Recommendation 14

The New Zealand Government should support reducing the nicotine in smoked tobacco products to very low levels. The New Zealand Government should also prohibit the use of menthol in tobacco products.

Recommendation 15

The New Zealand Government should support prohibiting filters in smoked tobacco products.

Recommendation 16

The New Zealand Government should have the flexibility of prohibiting tobacco product innovations through regulations.

Recommendation 17

The New Zealand Government should increase the tobacco tax rate, establish a new tax on e-cigarettes, as well as set a minimum price for tobacco products. The New Zealand Government should also look to take action in respect of any tax evasion by tobacco companies and e-cigarette companies.

Recommendation 18

The New Zealand Government should include smoke-free policies in its Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.

Recommendation 19

The New Zealand Government, the corporate sector, and civil society should further expand tobacco divestment policies.

Recommendation 20

The New Zealand Government needs to ensure that its tobacco endgame measures — and its proposals for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Plan — are safeguarded against the threat of tobacco interference.

Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, QUT. #Copyright #Patent #Trademark #plainpacks #Access2meds #SDGs #Climate #IndigenousIP #trade #TPP