All tobacco products in New Zealand will be sold in plain packaging, following a similar move by Australia last year.

New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia said a review showed this would help reduce the appeal of smoking and better publicise health risks, reports the BBC 

“Currently the packaging does everything it can to attract consumers and increase the perceived appeal and acceptability of smoking,” she said in a statement.

Packaging would carry large, graphic health warnings and be stripped of branding. The government anticipates pushback on the issue from tobacco companies, so will introduce laws later this year after legal cases in Australia have been resolved.

Several Australian tobacco-producing countries have taken their complaint to the World Trade Organisation.

New Zealand will “wait and see what happens with Australia’s legal cases, making it a possibility that if necessary, enactment of New Zealand legislation and/or regulations could be delayed pending those outcomes”, the government statement said.

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