New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..

February 25, 2009 - Back on September 30,2008 we reported that the National Member of Parliament (MP) Jo Goodhew said its four MPs on the health select committee had voted against the ban because they believed "more robust international evidence" was needed.

The Government has until the end of February to respond to a health select committee recommendation that the display on these deadly products be banned at retail outlets such as dairies, convenience stores, supermarkets and service stations.

Research supports tobacco display ban in convenience stores and retail outlets. Paper: Evidence and arguments on tobacco retail displays: marketing an addictive drug to children? George Thomson, Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Heather Gifford, Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 20-June-2008, Vol 121 No 1276 ABSTRACT...

Smokefree Coalition Director Mark Peckhe: A survey of nearly 30,000 14 and 15-year-olds showed a significant association between tobacco displays and smoking susceptibility. "For the sake of our children's future health, we (Smoke Free Coalition) urge the Government to make the right decision and ban tobacco displays."

A call to ban tobacco displays from shops has not got the support of the National Government at this stage, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says. Retailers Thank National Government Stay Displays Coalition based on comments from the Prime Minister - there would be no changes to the law on displays, Scoop Business News, 2/24/2009.

Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) NZ and other lobbyists have been pushing for tobacco displays to go, but a retail coalition has argued it would be expensive and ineffective.

High profile sports team doctor John Mayhew last week said the displays were essentially mini-billboards. "We can't afford to continue to send mixed messages to young people. There are plenty of anti-smoking messages around, yet to see tobacco sitting alongside bread and milk in shops like it is a normal everyday product contradicts those messages," Dr Mayhew said.

But Mr Key said evidence suggested such moves were not an effective way to tackle smoking as a health issue and he wouldn't support it. Mr Key said heavy tax and advertising restrictions were in place and the government sponsored plenty of quit smoking programs, but the costs to the likes of dairies of changing displays couldn't be justified.

OPEN LETTER to the people of New Zealand.. - NZ Drug Foundation.

Reference: No evidence tobacco ad ban works: NZ PM,, 2/24/2009; Time to ban cigarette ads in shops - Smokefree Coalition,, 2/16/2009.

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