Majority of New Zealanders back tobacco sales ban - poll

Last updated 18:06 03/08/2010

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The majority of New Zealanders support an end to commercial tobacco sales by 2020, a UMR Research survey has found.

The survey, for anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), asked 750 respondents if they agreed or disagreed that "New Zealand should be a completely Smokefree nation by 2020. This means smoked tobacco would not be widely available for sale."

Fifty-nine percent of respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with the statement, ASH said.

That number was down from 64 percent of New Zealanders who support an end to tobacco sales by 2020, according to a UMR survey released in May.

The results of that survey were presented to the Maori Affairs select committee into the tobacco industry by anti-smoking umbrella group the Smokefree Coalition, of which ASH is a member.

ASH spokesman Michael Colhoun said the results released today showed the public believed "enough is enough" and it was time for strong action to be taken on tobacco.

"The momentum has been built up over the past year, including the tobacco excise increase and I think we've reached a tipping point," said Mr Colhoun.

The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

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- NZPA

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