Around 5000 premature smoking related deaths still occur in New Zealand every year, both as a consequence of active smoking and through exposure to second hand smoke. In July 2012, the College released a series of position statements related to tobacco in New Zealand.
Read the College's position statement on climate change and sustainability
The College is serious about helping reduce smoking rates.
Key points included:
The College supports increasing the excise tax on tobacco as one of the measures to reduce the prevalence of smoking in New Zealand and believes further increases must be made. The College also believes most of the extra income from tobacco tax must be dedicated to cessation programmes especially targeting low-income earners, Māori and Pacific smokers, at-risk youth and patients with chronic illnesses.
The College supports Government introducing plain packaging of tobacco products and urges it to follow the lead set by the Australian Government.
The College supports programmes and initiatives that involve general practices and their patients in smoking cessation. General practices are encouraged to increase their use of the ABC approach and aim to ask every smoker about quitting at every visit. Practices should also be supported to use audits to know where improvements need to be made.
The College strongly supports equitable and effective measures to reduce smoking rates among Māori.
The College supports making New Zealand smoke-free and advocates for this to occur as soon as possible, with specific targets for Māori.
The College supports government following the lead of other countries by passing legislation to ban smoking in cars that are carrying children.
The College supports introduction of a tobacco retailer register in line with best practice.