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Cancer Society calls on communities to support Smokefree legislation

National, 27.07.22 - The Cancer Society welcomes the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill, introduced by Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall in Parliament last night.

Following the reading, submissions are now open until 24 August 2022. The Bill contains world-leading, evidence-based measures that will end the many harms tobacco companies and their products have inflicted on people living in Aotearoa New Zealand. We are entering a new era where our tamariki grow up free from the burdens smoking causes.

These measures include lowering the nicotine level in cigarettes so they are not addictive, reducing the availability of tobacco products, and disallowing sales of tobacco to anyone born from 1 January 2009.

Co-Medical Director Dr George Laking commends the Bill for placing Te Tiriti o Waitangi at its heart. "The facts are clear – smoking is the biggest cause of cancer and preventable deaths in New Zealand. It kills around 13 people a day and stops many others from being able to live their lives to the fullest.

“We have known for more than 70 years that tobacco causes many types of cancer and we see first-hand the devastating impact this dangerous product has on individuals and their whānau,”  says Dr Laking.

Cancer Society CEO Lucy Elwood adds: “Submissions are now open, and we are calling on the public to submit on this Bill. We’ll be supporting individuals and communities to have their say and voice heard by making submissions. Support through the submissions process is essential to realise a goal that many people have worked tirelessly for over a decade to achieve. We’re aiming for ground-breaking legislation will allow us to turn the tide on the biggest cause of cancer death in Aotearoa.”

A simple guide on how to make a submission can be found here.


Media contacts

Cancer Society Chief Executive Lucy Elwood and Medical Director Dr Kate Gregory are available for comments. To schedule an interview, please contact:

Wendy Billingsley
Communications Manager, Cancer Society of New Zealand | 027 66 66 552

About the Cancer Society of New Zealand
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country's leading organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence of cancer and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders. We are committed to working with communities and decision makers by providing leadership and advocacy in cancer control, with core services in information and support, research and health promotion.