The tobacco standardised packaging regime will be enforced from today, meaning tobacco packets will be the same standard dark brown/green background colour as Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland and France.
The regime came was introduced on March 14, but an extra 12 weeks was allowed for old stock to be distributed and sold.
New pictures and health warnings will be enlarged to cover at least 75 per cent of the front of tobacco packs, and all tobacco company marketing imagery will be removed, says the Ministry of Health.
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, says a statement on the ministry’s 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.”
The Ministry of Health's action to impose plain packaging has been applauded by Action for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 (ASH) programme manager Boyd Broughton.
But he says there is still a lot of work to be done if the Government hopes to meet its smoke-free target by 2025.
The Government also appears to be considering vaping as a way to meet its smoke-free target.
It follows a New Zealand Initiative report which argues that turning to less harmful methods is a good way to stub out the habit - much better than going cold turkey.