Health sector rallies behind plan
The health sector has rallied behind the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan with 100 academic, health sector and community organisations signing an open letter urging the Government to implement the plan in full.
Every DHB in the country has now signed the Health Coalition Aotearoa’s Open Letter of Support adding their collective voice to those calling to end tobacco harm in New Zealand.
“The action plan is more than a game-changer, it’s a game-ender for tobacco harm in New Zealand,” Health Coalition Aotearoa Chair Boyd Swinburn said.
“Adding the collective support of the DHBs to the broad list of organisations and individuals calling for the action plan to be implemented shows the strength of the proposals put forward.
“It is unusual to have this level of unanimous support from across the community and health sector, health experts and professionals, and government.”
The DHB heads join more than 80 health professional, NGO and academic organisations already signed up in support of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
HCA Smokefree panel chair Sally Liggins says Verrall’s action plan will protect and entire generation from the exploitation from the tobacco industry.
“The proposed Smokefree Action Plan will introduce new policy options while making smoking products less available and, importantly, less addictive,” Liggins said.
“Cigarette smoking kills 14 New Zealanders every day and two out of three smokers will die as a result of smoking. This action plan outlines a path for government and communities to work together to end the suffering caused by tobacco.”
The open letter is available for all to sign and is planned to be presented to the Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall ahead of the government response to the action plan.