Government’s shameful move on plain packaging. They’ll come for fat and sugar next

Despite no evidence to support the initiative the gutless cowards in the government have caved to the health troughers and brought in plain packaging for cigarettes.

Watch for international retribution, particularly from Indonesia, but also watch for calls for plain packaging for sugar and fat and anything else these wowsers want to control.

Cigarettes will start appearing on the shelves next year in drab packets with a big health warning plastered on the front.

Parliament on Thursday passed the plain packaging bill which has been in the works since 2014.

“There’s no other product which is so widely used and poses such a high risk as tobacco,” Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said.

“This is the next significant step in reducing the devastating harm.”  

He told parliament smoking caused between 4500 and 5000 premature deaths every year.

Tobacco is already heavily taxed and advertising is banned.

Now cigarettes will have to be sold in brown-green packets with a health warning covering at least 75 per cent of the front of the packet.

The enforcement date is still to be set but Mr Lotu-Iiga said the plain packets “will start to appear next year”.

“They will be stripped of bright colours, there will be no glamour.”

This sort of stuff is real nanny-state. It won’t work.

Sam Lotu Iiga really isn’t fit for purpose as a minister. He is beholden to his officials and has no concept of intellectual property rights.

When they come for food manufacturers don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I am seriously reviewing who to vote for next election. I think even Winston Peters is better than this mob right now.


– NZNewsire

  • Beeman

    Back in the day , 55 years ago, when I did smoke, my brand came in a soft paper pack that often got crushed in the normal run of life. The manufacturers sold a plastic case to protect the pack from damage. Still had the makers advertisement and brand printed on it for easy identification.Wonder if any company will think of it here to get around the brown/green packaging with health warnings?

    • spanishbride

      All they need to do is to provide a FREE cigarette case ( Branded ) with every bulk purchase of the PLAIN unbranded cigarettes. That way the consumer will know which plain cigarettes are which.

  • Graham Pilgrim

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss what the packaging looks like. It finishes up in the bin anyway. Plain packaging has never deterred me from buying “Cleanskin” wines.

    • Some health trougher says an alluring package resting in a rubbish bin will lure a child into starting smoking

    • kayaker

      I like buying clean skin wines because of the mystery (the write-up on the wine helps too).

  • Isherman

    The things he (Sam Lotu Liga) is stating as fact now around the effect that plain packaging will have on the Adult Smoking Rate will come back to bite him about 12 months after introduction. In Aussie, they point to the reduction in the ASR one year after introduction, which does show a small decline. However, that as evidence for plain packaging is problematic, as a look at the ASR figures for the last 15 years show a consistent incremental decline, and the rate of decline since plain packaging is not inconsistent with the last 15 years of trend without it.

  • waldopepper

    superb. this should deter the 4 people left in new zealand who aren’t aware that smoking damages your health from taking up the habit. i mean seriously. lets just call a spade a spade and stop the hypocrisy. if we want the smoking of a poisonous product to stop lets just get rid of it rather than all the mucking around. the government needs to announce the end of cigarettes by x date. say 5 years down the track. then everyone knows they have 5 years to ween themselves off the jolly things. all very plain and simple. just like the packaging.

  • Keeping Stock

    I take a contrary view. My mother smoked heavily all her adult life; certainly as far back as I can remember. After my father died, all she did was sit at the dining table from dawn until dusk, reading, doing crosswords, and smoking one Peter Stuivesant after another. Her house reeked of stale tobacco smoke, and everything in it was discoloured when she moved into a rest home.

    Even then, she didn’t give up. When I took her shopping, she would buy two cartons at a time; ten packs of 20 in each. She spent her last months going backwards and forwards to the smokers’ room at the rest home. When she finally passed away from complications of emphysema, we cleared around 30 unopened or open packs of cigarettes from her room.

    I detest smoking with a passion. If plain packaging, along with hefty taxes, disincentivise people from smoking, then that’s fine by me.

    • Nige.

      Point being that it’s not a disincentive.

      You’ve defeated your own argument somewhat.

      Nothing would have stopped your mother just like nothing will stop my wife or my stepson other than wanting to quit.

      • Mags

        I hate tobacco companies. I really couldnt care about the brands that they have built up or their rights to operate as a business. If they loose money then i’m not worried.
        I dont feel the same about sugar taxes/ fat taxes. Its just a prrsonal dislike for tobacco.

      • Keeping Stock

        Nothing would have stopped her once she became addicted Nige; I grant you that.

        But I’m hoping that plain packaging, along with other measures, will stop people starting to smoke, so they DON’T get addicted like my mother and tens of thousands of others like her.

        • kayaker

          Even if it saves one life (and by extension dozens of others) that will be a win.

          • Keeping Stock

            It’ll certainly be a win for the person who doesn’t die from a smoking-related disease.

    • Mags

      Im with you KS. Abominable habit. As a kid i hadtobreath second hand smoke from my fathers addiction, which i think was fuelled during his time in RAF during WW2.
      He died when i in my early 20’s. What a lot of good times we missed.

      • kayaker

        It’s such a heartbreak when that happens. We’ve been through it with one of our parents who died when he was 61, we were in our late 20s with a toddler. We’ve all missed out on so much.

  • Nige.

    “Cigarettes will start appearing on the shelves next year”

    No they won’t. They’re behind doors that the government already imposed. Another cost to the store owner.

    So do they still need to be behind the doors?

    What was the point of that?

    Is this just more state control?

    • Luke Lucas

      Sure it’s your choice to smoke but are you prepared to pay for treatment for any smoking related illness? And no, the tax you pay on cigarette’s will never cover the cost of your treatment

      • ex-JAFA

        Apart from the inconvenient fact that the excise on tobacco products collects considerably more than is spent on health care for smokers.

        • Luke Lucas

          So you expect others to pay for your Stupidity?

          • ex-JAFA

            Of course not. I’m a libertarian. I’m just saying what the current situation is, which the earlier comment grossly misrepresented.

  • Hard1

    $10 will get you a nice cigarette case.

  • dumbshit

    The “black marketeers” will be rubbing their hands with glee. Would imagine addicts will need to be very wary of where their “coffin nails” have come from!

  • iera

    Cigarette smoking kills.
    Maori are the most vulnerable group.
    The Maori Party appears the most active group.
    Why does the Maori Party not call a rahui – a total ban for Maori – on cigarette smoking?

    1) Does no one – the Maori King, or whoever – actually have that much authority?
    2) The Maori King wants “shared-sovereignty” – why does he not rule or lead on this, or can he not test it? or
    3) Is ‘Tikanga Maori’ non-evolving and ineffective even in such a life and death issue?

  • cows4me

    National must be thanking their lucky stars the opposition is utterly hopeless. No wonder Key is so keen to promote She Beast, he idolises the stupid woman and her nanny state engineering. National can get away with this rubbish safe in the knowledge there is no party in this country that stands for property rights, freedom of choice and has the power to arse them out. I’m beginning to be way over them.

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      In a democracy, when politicians are oblivious to what is happening around them and a massive social crisis is well under way, the consequences are utterly predictable. First, the public knows full well there is a serious problem. Second, they know the establishment doesn’t care. Third, they know the political system is the only recourse. And finally, personalities arise to lead them against the establishment.

      The establishment looks at these new leaders as bizarre and doomed to fail. These leaders, unlike the establishment, are aware of the social crisis and the contempt the establishment is held in. They do everything they can to appear utterly different than establishment politicians. The establishment believes this will lead to the downfall of the new politicians. They are totally unaware of how offensive their mode of government and even mode of speech has become.

      But the “stupid voter syndrome” is now evident in Europe and the U.S. There is deep contempt for the Trump voter, the Brexit voter and now the anti-CDU voter. The common sense of citizenship has been torn on both sides. The anti-establishment voters hurl contempt at the establishment. The establishment hurls it back. This is why Merkel’s statement that we shouldn’t blame the voters is so extraordinary. First, she isn’t blaming them. Second, and most fascinating, she is acknowledging that the voters might be blamed.


  • oldmanNZ

    News flash.
    Put your cigarettes in a plan paper bag.
    It will make you quit.

    Put you sugar in a plain jar. You will use less.
    Drink your booze in a plain paper bag… You will…. Hold on, are we not already doing this.?

  • Garry

    Good idea I reckon. It can’t do any harm and I can’t see why you’re so against it.

    • oldmanNZ

      Its not so much the cigarette, most non smokers, even smokers dont care. Make no difference.

      Its the creepyness of health nazi deciding what we can, cannot do, as mention, there already talks of sugar, fat tax,
      Then they want to take the fun out of my coke.

      • kayaker

        They can ban cigarettes (I wish they would). They’d better not ban tonic. That’s all.

      • curry4me

        I doubt this would have got through back in the day when there were nine ACT MPs in the house. It probably wouldn’t have got through when there were five under Rodney Hide.

        • XCIA

          No, we were doubly blessed, we got a super city instead.

  • KGB

    It’s about the marketing rights of a perfectly legal product.
    When National wanted to change our flag I was initially very opposed. Then I listened to JK explain that it was about having an identifiable flag to market NZ products, sport, and as tourist destination. He was right, he saw it from a marketing perspective and I changed my vote accordingly.
    Aside from opening the door to plain packaged ‘everything’ it is anti-business legistration.
    Shame on National.

  • kloyd0306

    Regulations re tobacco smoking are being tightened yet our politicians do not have the guts to ban smoking outright.
    Meanwhile, regulations re marijuana are being relaxed.
    It’s a crazy world.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Pack them in a “plain brown packing” like old George Beedle the chemist used to do with “gentlemen’s supplies” sent through the post. Who gives a toss.
    The law already requires that package contents need to be detailed on the outside so they will have to make room for that amongst all the illustrations already demanded. Plain packaging. Yeah right.

  • Moonroof

    It’s legal and taxed. Legislating the removal of branding is IP theft. Not acceptable, whether baccy, cars, or chocolate bars. Caving into troughers and pressure groups (and the Media Party) again. Despicable.
    Not wanting to be forced into reconsidering position on electorate vote, but a line has been crossed, so much for the party for business and free enterprise ay?