Ministerial delegations have been dished out, and Jenny Salesa has been given responsibility for tobacco control.
ASH Programme Manager Boyd Broughton said, “Achieving a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 is a big challenge, and progress has been far to slow in recent years. The last government set a goal for 2025, and have made limited progress. There is a lot of catching up to do, and we hope that Ms Salesa is ready to embrace the challenge”.
ASH says the Minister can make progress with some simple and urgent steps in their first term of Government. Brougthon added: “despite setting a goal for a Smokefree 2025, the last Government had no plan to achieve this. We encourage the Minister to prioritise a plan to achieve the goal”.
Other action ASH is proposing to the Minister include reinvesting in evidence based smokefree mass media, and supporting less harmful alternates to cigarettes.
Broughton said. “Minister Salesa is from south Auckland, where there are some of highest smoking rates. Tongan men also have some of the highest smoking rates in New Zealand. As a southsider, and New Zealand’s first Tongan born Minister, Ms Salesa should have some strong motivation to deliver on tobacco control.