New Zealand bans cigarettes and tobacco products for people born after 2008 through a law passed by parliament.
This means that New Zealand bans cigarettes permanently for all future generations, being the first country to ever pass such a law.
The ban will come into effect in 2023 and is a key part of New Zealand’s efforts to make the country “smoke-free” by 2025, a campaign that has already been underway for more than a decade.
New Zealand bans cigarettes for all future generations
“Thousands of people will live longer and healthier lives and the health system will save $3.2 billion by not having to treat smoking-related illnesses,” said Health Minister Ayesha Verrall. in a statement.
Cigarettes are already disappearing in New Zealand. According to statistics recently published government figures, only 8% of adults smoke daily, down from 9.4% in 2021.
The government also aims to limit the number of tobacco retailers from 6,000 to just 600 nationwide.
“It means that nicotine will be reduced to non-addictive levels and communities will be free from the proliferation and concentration of traders selling tobacco products in certain areas,” Verrall said.
The country’s plan has both fans and opponents
Critics of the government’s plan say it will fuel the growth of black markets.
“The underworld will be very happy,” Brooke van Velden, deputy leader of the far-right ACT party, wrote in a statement.
On the other hand, supporters of the legislation are celebrating it as a huge win for public health, notes Futurism.
“New Zealand leads the world again. This time, with a state-of-the-art anti-smoking implementation plan for 2025, it will really change things,” said Natalie Walker, director of the Center for Addiction Research at the University of Auckland.