Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill
Can you help us to influence this groundbreaking Smokefree Bill to become law?
Make a submission on the Smokefree Environments Bill when consultation opens soon!
If you only ever make one submission, make it this one.
You can help ensure that the world-leading Smokefree Action Plan becomes a reality and that the tamariki of Aotearoa/New Zealand grow up in communities free from tobacco harm.
We encourage you, your whānau, group or organisation to make a submission to help pass this ground-breaking law to create a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. If you are part of a youth group, community club or sports team, your group can write a submission together. Your thoughts count, so make your voice heard by decision-makers.
What is the proposed law about?
Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of death and disease in Aotearoa. Every year thousands of children start smoking and around 5000 New Zealanders die from tobacco-caused illnesses.
This new law will change the way tobacco is used and sold in Aotearoa. It will create a Smokefree Generation – young people who are born on or after 1 January 2009 will not be able to buy cigarettes or other tobacco. We will no longer have cigarettes sold at every dairy, petrol station or supermarket in New Zealand, and cigarettes will be less addictive.
You can read about the proposed law here
How to submit
When submissions open in the next few weeks, we'll let you know. Be ready to make your submission:
- Click on ‘I am ready to make my submission’ [coming soon!]
- Answer the questions. You do not have to answer every question, you just need to get across your main points. Use our points below if it helps.
- When you submit, you will also be asked if you want to speak to the Health Select Committee at Parliament about your submission. If you say yes, you may be invited to speak to MPs directly or by video conference.
- Contact your local Cancer Society Health Promoter at email@example.com for support. We can help with your submission.
You may want to comment on the following actions proposed in the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act:
If this Bill passes, cigarettes will not be allowed to be given or sold to young people born on or after 1 January 2009. These children will be our first Smokefree Generation protected from tobacco-caused cancers and other serious illnesses .
Although most children and teenagers are aware of the risks of smoking, they are at an age of experimentation and often don’t realise just ‘trying it’ can lead to a lifetime of regret, ill health and addiction. Most adults who smoke began smoking as children or teens, and nearly all (83%) regret ever starting.
Let’s support our tamariki’s right to stay healthy and stop the tobacco industry from profiting from people who become addicted as children. This law will give young people freedom before addiction takes their choices and their autonomy away.
Why is a Smokefree future important to you and your whānau?
“I have a granddaughter and I want her to have no pressure to even try smoking”
- Jacquie, age 70
“I want the next generation to have an easier time to make good decisions”
- Josh, age 21
"Ensure our tamariki never start smoking"
- Hana, 28
"Do it for our future generations. Ngā mokopuna"
- Justine, 46
You can help to prevent cigarettes, a highly addictive and deadly product, to no longer be sold by almost every dairy, supermarket and service station in Aotearoa. Shops selling tobacco will not saturate our low-income neighbourhoods. Instead, only a few approved retailers will be able to sell tobacco.
We have come to accept tobacco being sold everywhere as normal, and yet we have moved to phase out other dangerous products including lead paint and asbestos. New Zealanders should no longer let the tobacco industry target our youth, Māori, Pasifika and low-income communities.
Fewer retail outlets selling tobacco will mean that children are much less likely to start smoking and people who have quit will stay Smokefree. And it will make it easier to manage the risk of robberies and insurance costs for small retailers.
We have strong border control, as demonstrated by biosecurity measures, so we can remain strong against black market tobacco.
Why do you think it's important that less tobacco is sold in our communities?
"I didn’t want to be a target for thieves, it just wasn’t worth it. Having no cigarettes means the kids can serve in the shop"
- Small retailer
“I am a struggling smoker and I hate it. It’s so hard to quit and stay SmokeFree. I wish tobacco was illegal to buy in New Zealand”
- Melissa, age 42
“I want regulations to reduce the number of places selling tobacco and vapes”
- Tania, age 49
Reducing nicotine to very low levels will mean that if someone tries smoking, they will be much less likely to get ‘hooked’. It will also make it much easier for people to stop smoking and become Smokefree. The nicotine is the part of tobacco that makes it incredibly addictive and takes people’s autonomy away.
We should not let tobacco companies alter their products to make them taste or feel nicer. These companies add chemicals and flavours to cigarettes that make it easier for people to get hooked. We can stop this kind of manipulation by passing this law to make cigarettes less appealing and addictive.
What do you think about cigarettes and other tobacco being less addictive and helping whānau to be Smokefree?
“I was Smokefree for 10 years and had there been the above laws, I would not have started up again. After 20 more years smoking, I stopped, and fully support strong legislation to help prevent opportunities for people to start or continue smoking"
- Julie, age 50
“It is damaging to health which is costly to families and health services. The addictive nature of smoking makes it so difficult for anyone trying to give up. I feel it is just too easy for people to buy tobacco”
- Sharon, age 58
We know our communities want greater regulation for where vapes and heated tobacco can be sold to protect young people and people who don’t smoke. There are too many vape shops in our communities.
If this Bill becomes law, the Director-General of Health will have more control over the location of vape shops and in which communities they are located. Retailers not meeting conditions will be fined or have their approval to sell suspended or withdrawn. Enforcement officers will check if vapes are illegally sold or delivered to young people under 18 years.
What do you think about vapes being less available to young people?
"Pretty much my whole class vape, I'm in year 7. They never even smoked. I wish people never smoked or vaped!"
- Charlotte, age 11
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- Pearson AL, Cleghorn CL, van der Deen FS, et al. Tobacco retail outlet restrictions: health and cost impacts from multistate life-table modelling in a national population. Tob Control2016;(E-publication 22 September) doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052846
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- World Health Organization Study Group on Tobacco Regulation. Report on the scientific basis of tobacco product regulation. Seventh report of a WHO Study Group. Geneva: World Health Organization 2019
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2014). "Designed for Addiction. How the Tobacco Industry Has Made Cigarettes More Addictive, More Attractive to Kids and Even More Deadly." from www.tobaccofreekids.org