The Government has this afternoon agreed to introduce legislation to implement plain packaging for tobacco products.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said the legislation will mean cigarette packets and pouches will have larger health warnings and be stripped of marketing imagery.
“It will remove the last vestige of glamour from smoking,” she said.
The move is another blow to big tobacco companies, who have been subjected to price rises and more prohibitive laws in past years.
Ms Turia said during consultation for plain packaging, the overall consensus was that current packaging increased the appeal of smoking, and bright colours diverted people away from warnings.
“Plain packaging will explicitly show that the product inside kills 5000 people a year,” she said.
Tobacco companies are expected to fight the decision on grounds of intellectual property.