Smokefee 2025? More action needed

In a comment article for the New Zealand Herald two leading public health academics explain what is needed to achieve a smokefree New Zealand by 2025

StubbedAn excerpt (read in full here):

Comment: Let’s get fired up to stamp out cigs

Goal of being smokefree by 2025 needs an urgent plan, write Robert Beaglehole and Richard Edwards

The Government is committed to the Smokefree 2025 goal – a very low smoking rate of less than 5 per cent. This is achievable; already among some professional groups and communities the smoking rate is under 5 per cent. Reaching this goal will do more to improve the health of all New Zealanders than any other government policy.

What will New Zealand look like in 2025 when we have achieved the 5 per cent goal? Smoking will no longer be a “normal” activity. Children will never use tobacco products and smoking will be rarely seen.

Tobacco products will be legally available, but access will be restricted to a small number of licensed tobacco shops. By 2025, the price of cigarettes will be high, well over $40 for a pack of 20, and will be sold in drab, standardised packs with powerful graphic warnings. The cigarettes sold will have greatly reduced nicotine content to decrease their addictiveness.

The presence of the tobacco industry will be greatly reduced in New Zealand, if it remains at all. The current tobacco workforce will be happily engaged in other more health-promoting industries.

Most importantly, all New Zealanders will be living longer and healthier lives. Deaths and diseases caused by the tobacco industry, especially heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lung diseases, will be falling rapidly and there will be major savings for the health budget.

Keep reading…