New Zealand is failing it's commitment to Smokefree 2025
At an event hosted in Parliament by ASH, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa announced that she supports the need for a plan to achieve Smokefree 2025. ASH is urging for this plan to be developed urgently progress is too slow.
What is Smokefree 2025?
In 2010 the Maori Affairs select committee investigated the impact the tobacco industry is having on Maori and New Zealand. The result was a strong recommendation from the committee that New Zealand become smokefree by 2025, and less than 5% of people smoke. The New Zealand government agreed to the goal – a historic move that has set global precedent.
Why do we need a national plan?
New Zealand is halfway to 2025, and progress is far too slow. At the current rate of decline it will take until 2060 to get smoking rates for Maori under 5%.
Smokefree 2025 needs bold, decisive and urgent action from government. ASH is calling for a national plan that is supported across government.
Why is this so important?
Smokefree 2025 has never been backed up with a plan to achieve the goal. There is no national strategy, no milestones and no process to guide progress and action. With only 8 years until 2025, we cannot afford to wait and see. We need a clear process to decide on the best possible actions, work out how to best achieve them and to review progress.
5000 people a year are still dying from tobacco use, with a disproportionate burden on Maori and Pacific communities.
What should a plan include?
A clear plan will also allow the proper resourcing of evidence-based action as it allows for effective cross-government planning and accountability.
A plan needs to set out a transparent pathway to Smokefree 2025 that is ethical and fair to smokers, health professionals, and social and business sectors.
A plan should also include expert governance and allow continuous innovation, review and adjustment to ensure that performance indicators, and ultimately the Smokefree 2025 goal is met.
It is consistent with other high performing government actions
The government has successfully implemented action plans on other issues. For example, the National Plan of Action for Human Rights sets out clear measurable and accountable actions across a range of government departments and civil society. Other examples of current plans include the childhood obesity plan, and proposed housing plans.
It is consistent with world leading international tobacco control
Jurisdictions with the lowest adult daily smoking, such as Australia, Canada, California and Finland have benefitted from published government tobacco strategies and strong leadership. ASH wants to see a dynamic plan, overseen by an independent and expert governance group. A plan that can change and adapt as things change, but also keeps New Zealand focused on the 2025 goal