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Plain packaging law comes into effect

13 Mar 2018. From 14 March 2018, cigarette packaging will only be sold in plain olive brown packets with graphic health warnings which are already found on branded cigarette packaging, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) reported.

Stores will be permitted to sell old stock of branded cigarette packets until 6 June 2018. After this date only plain cigarette packaging can be sold throughout the country, TVNZ reported.

Action for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 (ASH), an anti-smoking organisation working to making New Zealand smoke free by 2025, responded to the measure. Boyd Broughton, ASH Programme Manager was quoted as saying, "ASH first campaigned on plain packaging thirty years ago and it has been 55 years since cigarette advertising was banned, on TV and radio in New Zealand.

"It's astonishing that over half a century later we are only just finishing the job."

Broughton, however, said there is still a lot of work to be done to make New Zealand smoke free by 2025, TVNZ reported. Brought said, "We only have seven years left to achieve the Smokefree goal. It's a sprint to the finish, and we urge the new government to start running."