NZ experts say smokefree repeal is “public health vandalism”

In an editorial piece for the New Zealand Medical Journal, tobacco control researchers discuss lessons learned from the new coalition Government’s controversial decision to repeal world-first measures to stub out smoking in Aotearoa. They write this move shows the new Government puts a low priority on improving health through prevention, and that it takes its targets-based approach selectively. For example, one of the most long-standing health targets – adopted by the National-led Government in 2011 – is to make NZ an essentially smokefree nation by 2025. They also say the new Government’s views align closely with those of the tobacco industry, and that the rapid reversal merits further investigation to ensure the Government is meeting its WHO obligations to keep the tobacco industry from having any influence on policy. The authors conclude that it’s not too late for the Government to change its course.

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