The Cancer Society is urging New Zealand MPs to protect children from tobacco marketing tactics in shops by supporting a proposal to eliminate retail marketing of tobacco products.
The call follows moves in New South Wales where the State Government is proposing a raft of measures to protect children including getting tobacco out of sight and licensing retailers.
“It is incomprehensible that we allow tobacco to be sold in the same way as bread and milk,” said Cancer Society tobacco control adviser Belinda Hughes.
The Society believes that the current environment undermines the rights of young people by subjecting them to sophisticated retail marketing practices aimed at promoting tobacco products.
“Protecting our children from tobacco is a societal responsibility. Children should have the right to grow up without being influenced by tobacco marketing practices such as powerwalls” said Ms Hughes.
Responding to critics, the Cancer Society has questioned why tobacco companies would spend many millions of dollars to ensure tobacco has pride of place in retail outlets if they were not having an impact.
“It doesn’t make sense. Of course retail marketing works and for anyone to argue that this isn’t the case is naïve or deliberately deceptive.”