500 signatures reached
To: Hon Jenny Salesa, Hon David Clark, House of Representatives
Reduce the nicotine in cigarettes
Reducing the nicotine in cigarettes will save lives. Sign this petition to tell our government there's no more time to waste.
By introducing legislation to reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels, we can support our loved ones to quit smoking and prevent our rangatahi from becoming addicted to this deadly habit.
Why is this important?
Smoking is one of the largest public health issues in Aotearoa. Every year nearly 5,000 Kiwis die from smoking-related illnesses (1). Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Aotearoa. It increases a person’s risk of developing numerous cancers, as well as strokes and heart disease (2). On average, a long-term smoker will die 10 to 15 years earlier than non-smokers.
But it’s not just direct smoking that is negatively impacting Kiwis. The impact of second-hand smoke continues to contribute to high rates of asthma and respiratory illness in our tamariki (3, 4).
Smoking takes a toll on our health system, our whānau and our communities.
Tragically, as with many health issues in Aotearoa, smoking disproportionately harms Māori and Pasifika. 31% of Māori adults and 20% of Pasifika adults smoke daily (5). If this government is truly committed to addressing health inequalities in Aotearoa, then reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes is an important place to start.
Quitting smoking cigarettes can be hard for many people, even though the overwhelming majority of smokers want to quit (6). The main reason people feel incapable of quitting is that cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.
Currently the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is not regulated. The tobacco industry has been able to distribute products with a high nicotine content, leading young people to become quickly addicted when they start and making it incredibly difficult to stop. Requiring companies to remove or significantly decrease the nicotine content from their products would help to end this cycle.
A reduction in nicotine would make smoking much less satisfying, resulting in smokers slowing or stopping consumption (7) and minimising the likelihood of young people becoming quickly addicted. Current smokers would be more able to kick the habit, save money and improve their health.
Reducing the nicotine in combustible tobacco products compliments the increased availability of e-cigarettes which contain nicotine, giving smokers the opportunity to switch to a less harmful product.
Join us and call on our government to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes.
This petition is part of Reduce the Nicotine, a broader campaign to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes in Aotearoa - get involved and find out more at: http://reducethenicotine.co.nz/.
1) Ministry of Health. (2004). Looking upstream: Causes of death cross-classified by risk and condition, New Zealand 1997. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
2) Laugesen, M. (2000). Tobacco statistics 2000. Wellington: Cancer Society of New Zealand; Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106; Ministry of Health. (2005). Tobacco facts 2005. Wellington: Ministry of Health; Quit Victoria. (n.d.).
3) Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106.; Jha, P., Ramasundarahettige, C., Landsman, V., Rostron, B., Thun, M., Anderson, R. N., et al. (2013). 21st century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 341-350.
4) Fergusson, D (2015). Christchurch Health and Development Study: Overview of 40 Years of Findings (2015). ASH Scotland (2012). Reducing Children’s Exposure to Second Hand Smoke in the Home.
5) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey (2006/07 – 2017/18) data tables.
6) Ministry of Health. 2009. New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey 2008: Quitting results. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
7) Donny EC, Walker N, Hatsukami D, Bullen C. Reducing the nicotine content of combusted tobacco products sold in New Zealand. Tobacco Control. 2017(26):e37-e42.