Govt considers fines for smoking in parks and cars

By Kate Shuttleworth

Photo / File / David White.
Photo / File / David White.

Fines for smoking in parks and cars and a clampdown on duty-free tobacco limits are being considered by the Government.

The strict restrictions are being considered by Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia, alongside a proposed rise in tobacco tax.

The proposed restrictions would be similar to those in Queensland where a $400 fine is issued for smoking in a car.

"We are looking at every option we can, to stop people killing themselves,'' she said.

Mrs Turia said the tougher rules were to save lives, not money.

"People on lower incomes need to think about what they spend their money on.''

In July this year the Government banned tobacco displays and launched a proposal to introduce plain packaging, which is being considered by the Ministry of Health.

Legislation was progressed in Parliament on Tuesday night that will use taxes to push the price for a pack of cigarettes to $20 by 2016.

All restrictions are part of a drive for New Zealand to be smokefree by 2025.

British American Tobacco (BAT) have launched a lobbying campaign to oppose plain packaging, but would not oppose moves to ban smoking in cars with children.

- APNZ

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