The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is supporting new standardised tobacco packaging that is set to be released on March 14.
Tobacco packs will feature new pictures and health warnings which will be enlarged to cover at least 75 per cent of their entirety.
All tobacco company marketing imagery will be removed, but manufacturers will be allowed to print a brand name and variant on their products with regulations in place.
The regulations will include where the names are placed on the pack, what type face is used, the font size and what colour must be used.
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WDHB health promoter Sarah Hawken said the initiative marks a pivotal step in the Government's tobacco control programme designed to help progress the Smokefree New Zealand 2025 goal.
"Health warnings become more visible on packets, the desirability of smoking is reduced and there is less chance of packaging misleading consumers about the harms of smoking," she said.
Miss Hawken said cigarettes will now only be sold in packs of 20 or 25 in cardboard packs and loose tobacco in pouches of 30 or 50 grams in rectangular, soft plastic pouches.
Following the release, old stock will be given six weeks to be distributed and a further six weeks to be sold. From early June 2018 only standardised packs will be able to be sold.
Whanganui DHB encourages everyone thinking about quitting to contact the local Stop Smoking Service on freephone 0800 200 249 for free and confidential advice.