CHRONOLOGY OF TOBACCO CONTROL IN
1948 First Department of Health (DoH)
posters linking lung cancer with smoking
1951 Statistician Bradford Hill and Richard Doll found that
smoking causes lung cancer.
1953 Tobacco consumption by weight per adult peaked in NZ.
Readers Digest publishes on the dangers of smoking.
1958 In Nordmeyer’s budget cigarette prices rose 42%;
but a year later the increase was reduced for political reasons to 29%.
Tobacco products consumption per adult fell 11% between 1957 and 1959,
but regained its former level by 1960.
1960 21 minutes were required to earn 20 cigarettes at
ordinary wage rates
1962 Royal College of Physicians London report: smoking causes lung
cancer and heart disease
1963 Cigarette advertising banned on NZ television and
radio by broadcasting authorities, in response to the Medical
Association’s call for a ban on advertising. Tobacco products
consumption in NZ peaked.
1964 January First US Surgeon General's report:
smoking causes lung cancer.
1973 Industry agrees to ban billboard and cinema screen
1974 Jan First health warning on
1975 Jan-Dec Number of manufactured
cigarettes consumed per adult peaked in this year.
1976 March Census: 40 percent of men and
32 percent of women smoke cigarettes.
1977 Print media cigarette advertising expenditure peaked
1979 The new Toxic Substances Act defined tobacco as a
1980 Tobacco Institute of NZ formed by the cigarette makers
Rothmans and Wills, and appoints Michael Thompson, formerly director of
the Newspaper Publishers Association, as its director. In this year, ten
minutes of average wages before tax earned a packet of 20 cigarettes.
1981 March Census: 32 percent of New
Zealanders smoke (men 35%, women 29%). An increase in young women smoking
between 1976 & 1981.
1982 Professor Robert Beaglehole founds ASH, funded by
Cancer Society & National Heart Foundation.
1983 Deirdre Kent joins ASH as Executive
Director, increasing media focus on the issue.
1984 October Labour government came to power and
Michael Bassett became Minister of Health. NZ's
tobacco consumption level was 12th among 24 OECD countries.
Murray Laugesen appointed as principal medical officer for
non-communicable disease control in the Department of Health.
1985 May The Comprehensive policy on
non-smoking is adopted by Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health and
presented to the Minister of Health. Mike Kelly elicits enormous local
community response to a smokefree week in Whangamata. Another voluntary agreement is signed
with the manufacturers, gaining virtually no further restrictions. Dr Max
Collins retiring director of public health, says
voluntary agreements have had their day. A smokefree
week is held in Levin.
1986 July Government backs Great Smokefree Week in early July with $0.5 million of TV
advertising. The Auckland rescue helicopter gives up its
Winfield sponsorship. Toxic Substances Board recommends a ban on tobacco
advertising. Budget raises tax, industry adds its margins and tobacco
prices rise 53 percent.
1987 Jan-February Cabinet decides to (1) ban the
marketing of oral tobacco (2) renegotiate its agreement on tobacco
advertising with the manufacturers, and (3) ban tobacco sales to under 16s.
1987 November DoH goes totally smokefree. Public opinion polls show public strongly
supports restrictions on smoking at work and indoors in public. David Caygill becomes Minister of Health.
1988 1 April Toxic Substances Act bans sale
of tobacco products to under 16s.
1988 July,Sep, Budget
raises tax by 1 cent a cigarette in July, to be repeated 1 Sept, and
again on 1 Jan and 1 April 1989.
1988 April-Sep New varied and strong health
warnings linking smoking to heart and lung disease as agreed in 1987, appear on the front and back of cigarette
packets sold in New Zealand.
1988 Waitemata City, lobbied by ASH, restricts
smoking in public places. In September DoH
publishes Creating Smokefree Environments a
discussion document for smokefree
environments legislation. Domestic airlines go smokefree
at this time. DoH publishes The Big Kill
showing smoking deaths by electorate.
1989 May-July Helen Clark becomes Minister of
Health, and visits Canada in May. David Caygill in the July budget reforms tobacco taxation,
with indexation of specific duty tax rate to the consumer price index
beginning March 1990.
1989 DoH increases the size of its
healthy communities team responsible for
1989 May 30 Coalition to end tobacco
advertising and promotion launched in Wellington.
1989 May 31 Toxic Substances Board (TSB)
publishes its report Health or Tobacco, an end to tobacco advertising,
after hearing evidence from manufacturers. The industry publishes a
critique of the TSB report, and the TSB writes a Reply.
1989 Dec 22 Helen Clark announces health
goals and then the government's intention to introduce legislation to ban
1990 January Leaks of earlier drafts of the
proposed legislation damage the government case. DoH
engages in information advertising to promote the legislation and counter
industry issue-advertising, while drafting of the Bill is completed.
1990 April The Seventh World Conference on
Tobacco and Health in Perth is the occasion for the visit
en route of articulate overseas tobacco control experts from Canada and the United States. Helen Clark awarded the WHO
medal for her contribution to tobacco control.
1990 May Helen Clark for NZ sponsors the
strongest resolution to date on tobacco passed by the World Health
Assembly in Geneva, then returns to introduce the
Smoke-free Environments Bill to Parliament on May 17.
1990 June-July For Parliamentary Select
Committee hearings overseas experts present submissions from both health
and industry. Press reports mostly unfavourable.
Television NZ screens the film July's legacy the story of Maori
woman July Minnell's death from lung cancer.
1990 August Parliament passes Smokefree Environments Bill into law, (1) restricting
smoking in offices, the public parts of workplaces, and in public and
eating places and transport; (2) banning advertising of tobacco products,
tobacco sponsorship, and tobacco advertising on other goods (3) establishing
a health sponsorship council.
1990 October Health Sponsorship Council
sponsors its first event. National government takes office, promising to
repeal the Act's ban on tobacco sponsorship advertising. Hon. Maurice
Williamson is responsible for tobacco control.
1990 Dec 17 Adban takes effect. Australia also bans print advertising in
Dec. Only advertising under tobacco sponsorships existing before the ban,
and point of sale signs already in place, are allowed to continue.
1991 The government introduces a bill to rescind the
tobacco sponsorship ban, but then delays. Meantime, Parliament passes the
"World Cup Cricket" amendment permitting this Benson and Hedges
sponsored multinational event. The economic recession was at its maximum
in early 1991.
1991 July Consumption fell even before
the price increase of around 17 percent (50 cents per packet of 20s) in
the July Budget, which produced a 15 percent sharp decline in cigarette
sales. Many smokers switched to cheaper hand-rolled cigarettes. Manufacturers
began to use price signs to advertise new tobacco products in shops. The
Ministry decided not to prosecute.
1992 Jan-Dec NZ's tobacco products consumption
per adult is the lowest among OECD countries, and affordability of tobacco
products in NZ is the one of the lowest among these countries.
1993 Two-thirds of Air New Zealand's international flights are
now smoke-free. Tobacco prices rose in real terms by 0.5 percent only in
the year between June 1992 and June 1993. After years of recession, in
1993 incomes rose and consumption fell only 2 percent to 1579 cigarette
equivalents per adult. Smokers have now cut down to 16 per day. Smoking
prevalence among adults at 27 percent has not decreased since 1989.
1993 Environmental Protection Agency in USA says environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS) causes cancer and is causal for glue ear.
1993 Cancer Incidence in five continents shows Maori men and women in
1984 had the highest rates of lung cancer incidence reported from any
cancer registry in the world.
1993 March Parliament, in a rare all-party
consensus, agrees to end tobacco sponsorship in 1995, in line with
Australian legislation, rather than in 1993, and amends the Act
1993 July 1 Under the restructured health system,
the Director General of Health has the duty to enforce the Smoke-free
Environments Act, while Public Health Commission (PHC) provides tobacco
statistics, monitoring and policy advice, and purchases public health
tobacco control programmes. Hon Maurice
Williamson renamed as Associate Minister of Health for tobacco control.
April No-one was working full-time on
Maori smoking until now. PHC lets a contract with Te Hotu
Manawa Maori to co-ordinate and strengthen tobacco control among Maori.
Supermodel Elle MacPherson hosts the Benson and
Hedges fashion show.
1994 May ASH under Janie Weir
successfully prosecutes a dairy owner for selling single cigarettes and
selling to a child. Health Sponsorship Council plans to replace some
major tobacco sponsorships with SMOKEFREE sponsorships.
1994 May 31 PHC publishes its policy advice
on tobacco products, setting a target for adults smoking of 20 percent or
less in 2000, a target only achievable with further government
1994 Sept 20 News release in New Zealand by the Public Health
Commission of Doll and Peto's research showing
one in two continuing smokers die of smoking. Peto
and Lopez's book released at this time detailed smoking deaths for New Zealand, and how to calculate these
for the future. 4500 tobacco deaths estimated for 1995.
1994 October Ten New Zealanders attend the
9th World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Paris. Nicotine and addiction, and
youth access to tobacco law are emphasised. 10
million deaths world wide predicted by 2020s on current trends. Peto calls for campaigns to help adults smokers quit
smoking to reduce deaths in the next 20 years.
1994 October Dr Boyd Swinburn
Medical Director National Heart Foundation hosts a Wellington national strategy meeting of
government non-government agencies attended by the Minister of Health
Jenny Shipley, who proposes some amendments to Part 2 of the Act during
1995 January 1 All tobacco product signs in
shops were due to come down. This was well observed by the companies.
Coca Cola purchased the advertising space. Many price notices, however,
which looked like advertisements remained inside tobacco retail outlets.
1995 February One seller prosecuting for
selling underage in Pahiatua.
1995 March 30 PHC releases its discussion
paper Tobacco taxation as a health issue
1995 March 31 All Air NZ flights smokefree except for flights to Japan and Korea.
1995 April Janie Weir Director of ASH
resigns, Sarah Thomson tobacco spokesperson at the Cancer Society moves to
Asthma Foundation as its executive director. Lynn John, a former
secondary school principal, becomes ASH director.
1995 31 May In Vancouver, the Director General of WHO
awards WHO's gold medal to Sir David Hay for services to tobacco and
health issues in New Zealand.
1995 1 June Excise on cigarettes raised to
15.682 cents per manufactured cigarette and 14.257 per gram of loose
tobacco to maintain the real price of tobacco.
1995 30 June Public Health Commission (PHC) dis-established and many staff offered places in the
Ministry of Health.
1995 1 July Murray Laugesen moves from PHC
to establish Health New Zealand
1995 July 1 All tobacco sponsorships to end
and sponsorship signs to come down. Two exemptions sought for Rothmans
motor racing and for Benson and Hedges tennis were refused by the
Minister of Health. But Parliament granted an exemption (Smokefree Environments Amendment Act 1995)
till 31 December 1995 for unrestricted tobacco brand
name sponsorship advertising for the Australian Rugby League sponsoring
the Auckland Warriors matches in Auckland as part of the Winfield Cup.
1995 July 4 Peter Tapsell,
Parliament's Speaker and leading Maori asserts that 3 cigarettes a day
probably do more good than harm, which brings vigorous rebuttal from
1995 July Ministry of Health issues a
policy document Towards a National Drug and Alcohol Policy, which
notes that tobacco is the most costly of these, but that Government
spends much less on controlling tobacco than on controlling alcohol or
1995 September Smokefree Coalition takes on Dr Murray
Laugesen as spokesperson
1995 October 6 Director General of Health
publishes a shop tobacco advertising Code in the NZ Gazette, which
restricts but still permits shop advertising to continue till 1998.
1995 October Smokefree Environments Amendment Bill
introduced into Parliament.
1995 27 October Editorial NZ Med J; Smokers run enormous risks - new evidence. Murray Laugesen.
1995 November Laugesen. M. Tobacco control:
10,000 deaths averted and greater gains possible in NZ Public Health
Report 1995; 2:89-91. Smokefree Coalition
published The 'Not Very' Smokefree
Environments Amendment Bill 1995 as a manual for strengthening the
1995 Dec 5 Tax on loose tobacco raised by
39 percent. Increased government expenditure over the next three years
announced by the Minister of Health. Consumption down 5 percent.
Prevalence for the year ending December 26.4 percent, down only 0.5
percent from previous year.
1995 Dec 11 Minister of Health signs an
Agreement with tobacco manufacturers agreeing to comply with the Code of
Practice (on Tobacco Product Advertising at point of sale).
1996 Jan 31 Submissions closed with the
Social Services Select Committee. Over 200 submissions received, nearly
90 percent support the Coalition's position asking for a stronger bill
1996 March Census: 23.7% of New Zealanders
1996 April Hearings on the Amendment Bill
completed by the Select Committee.
1996 24 April First NZ Smokefree
Fashion Awards event held, in Auckland, replacing Benson and Hedges
Fashion Awards of the last 25 years.
1996 May 31 World No Tobacco Day. Hon Jenny
Shipley and All Black Michael Jones awarded WHO medal for work against
smoking. Further tobacco replacement smokefree
sponsorships expected during the winter of 1996.
1996 August Media campaign targeted at
youth begins. A much strengthened bill reported back from the Select
Committee, but was not passed before the first MMP election in October.
Shop visits and later, prosecutions for underage sales increase in
1996 November Publication of The Big Kill
Continues, and Tobacco Statistics 1996, by the Cancer Society.
1996 December Price of cigarettes rises 15
cents on a packet of 20s to adjust for inflation.
1997 February Neil Kirton
new Associate Minister of Health takes responsibility for tobacco
1997 March NZ Smokefree
e-News a weekly E-mail newsletter, begun from Health New Zealand for tobacco control workers.
1997 March 21 Ligget tobacco company in the USA admits tobacco causes cancer,
heart disease and is addictive, and to marketing to children.
1997 March First Smokefree
Industry Conference in Wellington. Smokefree
Coalition forms itself into a Trust. Tobacco consumption has risen for
the last two years, the Ministry of Health reports.
1997 May & Nov. New Zealand cigarettes high in nicotine.
NZ Public Health Report
1997 July The Smoke-free Environments
Amendment Bill no. 2 is passed. This amends the Smokefree
Environments Act 1990 to (1) now ban sales of tobacco products to anyone
under 18 years of age and require retailers to take all reasonable steps
to check age (2) ban sales of cigarettes in packs less than 20 cigarettes
from 1 February 1998 (3) clarify the regulatory powers of the Act to
limit harmful constituents in tobacco products and includes penalties for
those in breach (4) ban manufacturers giving incentives to retailers to
promote tobacco products (5) reduce in-shop tobacco advertising down to
one price card 90 by 55 mm per brand variant, all in all not totalling more than one A4 sheet per shop, as from
1997 24-28 August 10th World Conference on
Tobacco or Health in Beijing is attended by 17 New
Zealanders, including many Maori.
1997 September 11. Hon Tuariki
Delamare becomes Associate Minister of Health
with responsibility for tobacco control.
1997 October National hui
established ATAK, the Maori Smokefree
1998 February 1 Packs of less than 20
cigarettes and pouches of under 30g are banned.
Barbara Langford takes over as director of the Smokefree
1998 April 22. Health Sponsorship Council
sponsors NZ Fashion Awards for the third and final time.
1998 May 14 Budget. Tax raised by 2.5 cents per
cigarette. Price increases 13 percent and supermarket sales across
cigarettes and RYO fall 10 percent.
1998 21 May Cigarettes kill one in three
Maori according to a new study by Laugesen and Clements published at
<www.tpk.govt.nz> The Minister of Maori Affairs gives the job of
releasing the bad news to Ngatata Love CEO for
TPK (Ministry of Maori Development).
1998 May 31 Dr Murray Laugesen awarded the
WHO Tobacco or Health Medal
1998 December 10 Tobacco advertising in shops
ended, as the amended Act required.
1999 January Smokefree Coalition uncovers attempts of
cigarette manufacturer and owner of the Marlboro man, Philip Morris, to
educate NZ school children about smoking, by offering free materials to
1999 March After 6 months, quit media campaign
ends in Waikato-Bay of Plenty with 8500 calls
to quitline, out of 100,000 smokers in the
1999 July Health New Zealand website www.healthnz.co.nz launched.
13 July Public Health
Association (PHA) awards Cancer Society’s Helen Glasgow Public Health Champion of the
year, partly for her work on tobacco campaigns.
1999 July 14 Launch of the national media Quit Campaign at the PHA
1999 July 15 Youth smoking symposium called
by Smokefree Coalition
1999 July 17 National Health Committee
launches smoking cessation guidelines for health professionals at a GP
conference in Wellington.
1999 December Helen Clark on becoming Prime Minister, opens
a national workshop on second hand smoke
2000 1 January From this date all cigarettes
manufactured must have new health warnings on cigarette packets, include
Smoking kills in both Maori and English, and Smoking is addictive.
2000 12 May Due to tax increase cigarette
prices rise 20%, sales fall 16%. Calls to quitline
treble and the new service overburdened. 80,000 smokers quit but most
resume smoking within 3 months. The budget funds Maori quit programmes.
2000 6-10 August 38 New Zealanders attend World
Tobacco or Health Conference in Chicago.
of second hand smoke mortality and morbidity published on www.ndp.govt.nz (Woodward and
2000 November Nicotine
patches, gum subsidized by Pharmac, pharmacy
voucher mailed to quitter.
2001 April 61%
support smokefree restaurants, 38% support smokefree bars. Final estimates of second hand smoke
mortality: 350 annually, of which 100 due to workplace expsosure. (Tob. Control).
2002 April 60%
support smokefree restaurants, 38% support smokefree bars. No government funds for public media
campaign. Doctors for a Smokefree New Zealand
collects 1000 doctors’ signatures in support of all workplaces
being smokefree. Hearings before Health Select
2003 August 12th
World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki: considerable debate on harm
reduction policies. Quitlines becoming more
2003 November ASH
celebrates 21 years and is awarded WHO trophy and citation.
2003 10 Dec Smoke-free
Environments Act 1990 amended to ban smoking in virtually all workplaces
including clubs, bars, casinos, restaurants, factories.
2004 April UMR
poll: 73% of adults support smokefree
restaurants and 56% support smokefree bars
2004 May Trish
Fraser resigns after 7 years as director of ASH; Becky Freeman is
2004 10 Dec The
smoking restrictions of the amended Act come into force. In some
supermarkets cigarettes are now completely out of sight, to avoid display
alongside sweets for children, as the Act now requires.
2005 9 May Royal
Australasian College of Physicians report Tobacco Policy . Using evidence for better outcomes. www.racp.edu.au released in Wellington by Hon Damien O’Connor.
Urges steady modest increase in price of cigarettes, attention to the
huge problems of smoking as self medication among the mentally ill, and
consideration of harm reduction – alternative nicotine and
regulation of smoke toxicity.
2005 September Labour
led government. PM Clark appoints Damien O’Connor to continue to
oversee Tobacco Control.
2005 December Researchers
Blakely and Wilson call for an end to smoking within 20-30 years.
Health New Zealand, Auckland, NZ.