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Radical smoking laws needed: researchers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/08/2016

Radical laws are needed if New Zealand is to become smoke free by 2025, Wellington researchers say.

Experts from Wellington's University of Otago have proposed sweeping changes to legislation that they say, without, the country's smoke free goals is unlikely to be achieved.

The proposal targets tobacco products and the industry, and would see permission to sell tobacco transferred to not-for-profits or health agencies if reductions targets are not reached by 2020.

The researchers also want minimum tobacco prices, better monitoring and control of industry profits and regulated product design.

Sugars, menthol, flavouring and altered nicotine levels would also be banned under the proposal.

"This law would ensure that children and young people experimenting with cigarettes would be likely to find them less appealing, not so attractive to smoke and less addictive; and fewer people would become regular smokers," Public Health Professor Richard Edwards said.

The proposal, in the New Zealand Medical Journal, comes a day after Auckland Council revealed it is considering by-laws that outlaw smoking in designated outdoor areas across the city.

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