As of 6 June 2018, all tobacco products in New Zealand are required to be sold in standardised packaging. The regulations were introduced on 14 March, but allowed 12 weeks for retailers to sell off their already branded stock.
The standardised packets have a generic olive brown background, health warnings over at least 75% of the front and all tobacco company marketing imagery removed.
“Tobacco manufacturers will be allowed to print a brand name and variant on their tobacco products, but the regulations standardise how these look, including where they must be on the pack, what type face and font size and colour must be used,” states the NZ Ministry website.
“Cigarettes will only be sold in packs of either 20 or 25 sticks, in standard cardboard packs and loose tobacco in pouches of 30 or 50 grams in standard rectangular soft plastic pouches.”
New Zealand is among a number of countries internationally to adopt standardised packaging including Australia, France, United kingdom and Ireland.
“Standardised packaging, along with the existing suite of tobacco control measures and stop smoking services, is the logical next step toward our Smokefree 2025 goal,” Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner said.
“It also sends a clear message that the Government is serious about ending unnecessary smoking-related illness and death.”
Graphic health warnings cover the front and back of the cigarette packets. Photo: Ministry of Health