New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the well being of children under five welcomes proposed legislation requiring plain packaging of tobacco products.
The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last night and has now been referred to the Health Select Committee for public consultation.
Plunket Clinical Advisor Elaine Gordon says Plunket actively support the government’s goal of halving tobacco consumption by 2015 and achieving a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025.
“Smoking is a known risk factor in Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant (SUDI – also known as SIDS or cot death). Plunket works in partnership with families and whānau to connect them with services that will support them to become smoke-free.
“Smoke exposure assessment, cessation support, and the promotion of smoke-free environments is a part of our business as usual. During Plunket visits we have the kōrero and conversations with families and whānau about the benefits of being smoke-free. All Plunket nurses are trained to deliver cessation support and in some cases Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
We have also partnered with Quitline on a TEXT2QUIT service. Referrals to the QuitLine Plunket TEXT2QUIT service have increased by over 200 percent in the past 12 months. This is strong evidence of how Plunket is actively supporting the Government goal of a smoke-free Aotearoa by 2025, and more importantly supporting the development of healthy families and whānau.
“The latest census data indicates that as many as six out of ten New Zealand children live in households where tobacco is smoked by an adult who lives there. This means that they are exposed to tobacco branding on packs inside their home.
“Children are very susceptible to advertising and product branding. Plain packaging is necessary to protect the health and well being of our current and future generations.
“This legislation has Plunket’s strongest support and we urge the public to support plain packaging legislation with submissions to the Health Select Committee”.no