INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealanders want full access to cigarette alternatives

Published: Fri 12 Oct 2018 03:01 PM
New Zealanders want full access to better alternatives than cigarettes: poll
Nine out of ten New Zealanders believe adult smokers should have access to alternative products if shown to have the potential to reduce the risk of smoking compared to cigarettes, according to a new survey*.
The Ipsos survey, commissioned by Philip Morris International (PMI), reveals that 75 per cent of the 1000 New Zealanders surveyed also believe the government should do all it can to encourage adult smokers who don’t quit cigarettes to completely switch to better alternatives.
“Public opinion aligns with common sense, and the recent Ipsos survey confirms what we have heard for a very long time,” said James Williams, General Manager of Philip Morris New Zealand.
“The survey shows that most people in New Zealand agree that smoking is still a serious public health problem. They want to see action to tap into the opportunity provided by alternatives to cigarettes that are scientifically substantiated.”
The results also show that 85 per cent of respondents believe consumer goods companies have an obligation to continually research and innovate their products in the interest of public health. However, only 38 per cent thought that New Zealand authorities had done a good job ensuring everyone had access to the latest innovations and advancements.
“Clearly, New Zealanders want government to promote promising solutions to public health problems,” James Williams said. “Kiwis want to see adult smokers given the choice to switch to better alternatives that are properly regulated to ensure manufacturing standards are met and young people are prevented access.”
“The science is clear. The evidence shows that switching to a smoke-free product is a better choice than continuing to smoke. Smoke-free products are available in New Zealand but the lack of a proper regulatory framework encouraging adult smokers to switch to these products is holding back a substantial public health opportunity. The government must move quickly on its promise to introduce risk-proportionate regulations that clearly differentiate these products from cigarettes and support consumer switching.”
“Throughout the world, smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco are seen as a way to meaningfully reduce smoking rates and get smokers off the most dangerous form of tobacco. Current regulations are limiting access to accurate information for the rest of the nation’s smokers,” James Williams said.
“The science has been internationally endorsed by groups such as the American Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK, Royal College of Physicians, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and more.”
“The message is clear: people want governments to give smokers full access and full information about better choices to cigarettes.”
* Conducted by Ipsos Hong Kong Limited (September 2018); margin of error ±3.2% at the 95 per cent confidence interval. New Zealand data can be viewed at https://www.pmi.com/resources/docs/default-source/newsroom/ipsos/multi-country-survey-infographic-new-zealand.pdf?sfvrsn=b2ca9cb5_2
All data can be viewed at www.pmi.com/media-center/news/public-supports-alternatives-to-cigarettes
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