The Ministry of Health is currently looking at the issue of tobacco companies providing incentives to retailers to sell and display tobacco.
This has come about following a Health Select Committee hearing in July, where the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) reported that retailers received 'standard trade rebates' from tobacco companies.
Section 28 (2) of the Smoke-free Environments Act (1990) bans any gift or cash rebate as an inducement or reward to any retailer for the purchase, sale, advertising or placement of tobacco products.
The Ministry of Health's Chief Advisor Public Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the Ministry had written to the three major tobacco companies in New Zealand and has received written responses from all three. These are currently being assessed. The Ministry has also set up a meeting with the NZACS.
Dr Bloomfield said the Ministry was planning to report back to the Health Select Committee on this issue by mid August.
A public statement will be issued once the Minister of Health has been fully briefed on the matter, including advice on whether the Ministry of Health has any concerns about possible breaches of the Smoke-free Environments Act (1990).
"In the meantime, if any new information arises, we will provide a further update," Ashley Bloomfield said.