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Cancer Society urges Government to stop the repeal of Aotearoa’s smokefree laws

The Cancer Society is extremely disappointed the new Government has agreed to repeal world-leading smokefree laws in its first 100 days in office.

This is a backwards step for Aotearoa New Zealand and puts the tobacco industry’s profits ahead of the health of all New Zealanders – especially our children’s.  

Tobacco is the deadliest consumer product of all time and still causes more than 2000 cancer deaths every year in New Zealand. The Cancer Society has a long history of advocating for smokefree policies, and had welcomed the bold new smokefree laws that are desperately needed to make Smokefree 2025 a reality.  

“These laws would have made tobacco less available to buy in our communities, less addictive and would have stopped a whole generation from being able to buy tobacco,” says Cancer Society Chief Executive Dr Rachael Hart.  

“The public has spoken loud and clear on the subject. The significant support from communities across the country is evidenced by the thousands of submissions made. Beyond that local support, we could also boast they were world-leading with other countries, such as the Conservative UK Government, starting to follow our example”. 

Dr Hart says while it was good to hear that the new Government has signalled an intention to continue to support the Smokefree 2025 goal, the Cancer Society is keen to understand what this means in practice.  

“The time for a ‘business as usual’ approach is over as 2025 quickly approaches. Interventions that focus mainly on individuals, such as offering cessation support, are important but will not achieve Smokefree 2025 on their own. This Coalition will be in Government in 2025 and will be answering to the New Zealand public if the goal is not met.” 

The Cancer Society is united with its health sector allies and our community, and calls on the new Government to implement the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act as intended.  


Background information  

Media Contact: 

Maria De Cort 
Senior Communications Advisor | Cancer Society of New Zealand National Office 
021 991 952 |