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Petition to reduce shops selling tobacco

Petition to reduce shops selling tobacco

Tobacco kills about 13 New Zealanders every day but can be sold anywhere. Let's change this.

Update: our petition was signed by nearly 8000 New Zealanders.

New Zealand will not reach its Smokefree 2025 goal without legislation to greatly limit the availability of the most harmful consumer product in history.

On average there are six shops selling tobacco within a 10-minute walk of New Zealand secondary schools. There are four times more tobacco retailers in low-income communities where smoking rates are highest.

It would be impossible to launch cigarettes onto the market today, yet we continue to allow the tobacco industry to stock them wherever it chooses.

Lucy Elwood, CEO, Cancer Society

In a 2018 Government funded health and lifestyle survey, 68% of New Zealanders supported making tobacco less available.

New Zealand research also shows school students are less susceptible to smoking when there are a low number of tobacco retailers around their school. Reducing the number of retailers also assists people who want to quit smoking.

“Tobacco has been around for a long time and caused an immeasurable amount of heartbreak for families. We cannot let this continue. We need New Zealanders to get behind us and sign this petition so we can treat tobacco like the killer it is,” says Lucy Elwood

Although there has been a steady decline in smoking in the past 40 years, an estimated 535,000 adults (13.4%) currently smoke in New Zealand. Tobacco remains a key driver of health inequalities with prevalence in Māori (31%) and Pacific people (22%) at rates much higher than that of other ethnic groups in New Zealand.


On World Smokefree Day 2021, the petition, which was signed by nearly 8000 New Zealanders, was presented to Labour MP Dr Liz Craig in Invercargill. Dr Craig is a former medical practitioner and public health expert and Chair of the Health Select Committee. The petition supports the Cancer Society's submission on the Smokefree plan.