Open letter calls Government to brave smokefree 2025 goal

First@Five 22/06/2018
Credit: File.

This week a group of tobacco control professionals have published an open letter in the New Zealand Medical Journal stressing the Government needs to take braver action if its 2025 smokefree goal is to be achieved.

The letter's lead author Martin Witt of the Cancer Society West Coast division joins James Coleman to discuss the vision.

“Public health should always trump the commercial drive from the [tobacco] industry,” says Mr Witt.

It is not hard to rationalise the effects of tobacco on wider society and governments have recognised this for decades, he explained.

“This letter is saying that the Government can escalate the progress that is being made,” Mr Witt adds.

The initiatives that make the tobacco industry squeal the most are the ones that they would least like to see happen, suggests James.

“The drive for tobacco control has very much been around reducing the demand for tobacco. The area that we haven’t moved on is reducing supply.”

Public policy can take an extensive period of time and the Cancer Society believes this open letter “…sets out the strategy for the future”.

Listen to the full interview with Martin Witt above.

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