The Government of New Zealand has approved new regulations to standardise the packaging of tobacco products.
Under the new regulations, all cigarettes and tobacco products will be available in a brown / green-coloured packaging with enlarged health warnings to cover at least 75% of the front of tobacco covers.
Tobacco manufacturers are allowed to print their brand name and variant on tobacco packaging, but it should follow the standardised look, size, font and colour.
The tobacco standardised packaging regime is set to become effective from 14 March 2018.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said that the standardised packaging will reduce the appeal of tobacco products especially for children and young people.
New Zealand Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner said: “More than 5,000 New Zealanders die of smoking-related illnesses each year — that’s about 14 people per day, or more than one every two hours.
“Standardised packaging, along with the existing suite of tobacco control measures and stop smoking services, is the logical next step toward our Smokefree 2025 goal.”
The new regulations require the sale of cigarettes only in standard cardboard packs of 20 or 25, while loose tobacco can be sold in pouches of 30g or 50g in rectangular soft plastic pouches.
A new set comprising 14 health warning messages and images have been prepared and will be printed on the packs.
Tobacco companies will be given an extra six weeks to distribute their old stock and a further six weeks to sell it.
After 6 June next year, only standardised packs can be sold.