Smoke packs suck-in kids
The Heart Foundation is targeting parents and communities with a hard-hitting online film highlighting the harmful effects cigarette packaging can have on children. Arrowtown Primary School Room 18 pupils were among the first to view the 60-second English version of the film clip with Heart Foundation Southland heart health advocate Nicola Mason, of Invercargill, last week. There is also a 90-second version in Maori. The film shows children, aged 5 to 10 years, talking about why they find the colours and images on cigarette packs so appealing. Comments like ‘‘it reminds me of lollies’’ and ‘‘it looks like you could just slide it out and eat it’’ could be alarming for many parents, Mrs Mason said. ‘‘The content is very compelling – it’s all unscripted and I’m sure many parents will be shocked. ‘‘We’re confident it will galvanise the community to support plain packs for tobacco,” she says. The short film was in response to a Government call for feedback on its proposal to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products. The foundation is working in partnership with agencies such as the Cancer Society to help New Zealanders understand how cigarette packaging affects children. Young people started smoking, most from the age of 14, and were the ones seduced by glossy brands and images, she said. Heart disease was New Zealand’s single biggest killer and not smoking was the number one prevention for premature death. Advocates will be on the streets seeking support before the consultation period closes on October 5.
To view the film: heartfoundation.org.nz/plainpacks.
To sign the online petition:http:/ /plainpacks.org.nz.
Shocking: From left: Heart Foundation Southland heart health advocate Nicola Mason and Arrowtown School Room 18 pupils Oliver Hill, Sophie Aitken and Romy Hall check out the foundation’s new short film highlighting the harmful effects cigarette packaging can have on children.