New Zealand - cigarette display ban passes first reading..

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December 13, 2010 - Cigarette displays in shops will be banned under a bill which passed its first reading in Parliament last night, December 10th. It was strongly supported on a vote of 108 to three and has been sent to the health select committee for public submissions.

In New Zealand, the bill passes through the following stages:
1. First reading: MPs debate and vote on the bill. If a bill is approved, it passes on to the committee stage.
2. Select committee stage: The bill is considered by a Select Committee, which scrutinises the bill in detail and hears public submissions on the matter. The Committee may recommend amendments to the bill.
3. Second reading: The general principles of the bill are debated, and a vote is held. If the bill is approved, it is put before a Committee of the House.
4. Committee of the House: The bill is debated and voted on, clause by clause, by the whole House sitting as a committee.
5. Third reading: Summarising arguments are made, and a final vote is taken. If the bill is approved, it is passed to the Governor-General for Royal Assent. New Zealand has no upper house, and so no approval is necessary.
Act of Parliament

Background:
October 27, 2009 - New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
August 24, 2009 - ASH New Zealand starts fresh push for ban tobacco displays..;
February 25, 2009 - New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
September 30, 2008 - New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
July 4, 2008 - More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
April 15, 2008 - Tobacco displays are on their way out in an increasing number of countries...
The ban on displays will come into force six months after the bill becomes law and there will be a two-year transition period so that shops can be modified. The bill also allows infringement notices to be issued when tobacco is sold to people under 18, with a maximum fine of $400. Prosecution through the courts will still be used for serious or repeat offences, with a maximum fine of $2000. The bill says prosecutions have been cumbersome and costly, and the infringement notice will be effective against first time offenders.

MPs (Members of Parliament) who spoke during the first reading debate praised the Government for bringing in the bill, which is under the name of Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia.

Some Labour MPs said they doubted National would have introduced it without pressure from the Maori Party. All the parties in Parliament supported the bill although ACT (political party) cast a split vote with two MPs in favour and three opposed. (November 4, 2010 - New Zealand - Māori Affairs Committee Report released - November 2010..

Reference: Cigarette display ban bill passes first reading, New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), 12/11/2010.

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