The Smokefree Coalition says new plain packaging legislation for tobacco products will help protect nearly 33,000 Bay of Plenty children from tobacco advertising in the home.
Statistics NZ data shows 603,807 New Zealand children under 16 live in households where an adult smokes regularly and that 32,628 of these live in the Bay of Plenty.
Coalition director Dr Prudence Stone said it was unacceptable so many Bay of Plenty children saw the insidious glamorising of tobacco on cigarette packs every day.
"Packaging is the last advertising avenue the tobacco industry has, and they certainly make the most of it. Research has found pack design has a powerful impact on children and that they find it attractive.
"Allowing our young to be enticed into the slavery of a tobacco addiction threatens our goal of a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 and it is well past time this method of promoting a deadly product was taken removed."
Dr Stone said data also showed Bay of Plenty children in poorer homes were more likely to be exposed to the branding on tobacco packets. Forty-one percent live in homes where total income is below $50,000; 41 percent live where the total income is $50,000-$100,000; and just 18 percent live in households where income exceeds $100,000.
"We know many smoking parents and caregivers, whether rich or poor, keep their homes smokefree to protect their kids from second-hand smoke, but tobacco industry marketing is at work upon these children nonetheless so long as tobacco packs are left lying about where children might see them.
"Plain packaging and large graphic warnings are the best way to send a clear message that smoking is unattractive and deadly. They will help prevent Bay of Plenty children from joining the next generation of addicted smokers, and this is exactly why the tobacco industry opposes them so vehemently."