All young people born after 2008 will be banned from buying tobacco for their entire lives. And the aim is simple: to eliminate smoking in New Zealand.
A law, due to be enacted as early as 2022 (and implemented in 2023), will make it so that New Zealanders born after 2008 cannot legally buy tobacco in their lifetime. Why is that? It’s simple. According to the BBC, the goal is to reduce the national smoking rate to 5% by 2025 and then eliminate it altogether. Currently, 13% of adults in New Zealand smoke.
“We want to ensure that young people never start smoking.” said Ayesha Overall, New Zealand’s Minister of Health, who is keen to add that smoking causes one in four cancers and is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the New Zealand population, as the “Jornal de Notícias” advances.
From 2027, the legal age for smoking – which is 18 today – will increase by one year each year. This means that people who turn 14 in 2023, when the law is due to come into force, will always be one year younger than the legal limit. And the aim is simple: to prohibit them from buying tobacco throughout their lives.
The Government hopes that the so-called “smoke-free generation” will be less likely to suffer lung cancer or cardiovascular diseases. And, in this sense, the changes do not stop there.
New Zealand will also reduce the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco and restrict places where packs can be sold. The plan is to remove them from supermarkets and street kiosks and drastically reduce the number of shops allowed to sell cigarettes-in this case, from eight thousand to less than 500.
However, the new measures do not include e-cigarettes.