The New Zealand government is to go ahead with plans to introduce standardized packaging for tobacco products, according to stories by Kate Shuttleworth for the New Zealand Herald and Nick Perry for Associated Press.
However, it will hold off on implementation until after World Trade Organization challenges are concluded in respect of Australia’s introduction of such packaging late last year.
New Zealand’s associate minister of health, Tariana Turia, said she expected the WTO case to be completed within 12 to 18 months; so New Zealander’s could expect plain packs to be on the shelves sometime next year.
“It won’t take years and years,” said Turia. “We know that we’ve got trade obligations and we take them seriously… but we are confident that plain packaging can be introduced consistently with those obligations.”
The government would probably face legal action even if Australia defeated the challenges it is facing, said Turia. But she believed the risk would be greatly reduced if Australia won its cases.
Category: Breaking News