New Zealand has enacted legislation barring the sale of cigarettes to anybody born after January 1, 2009, in what may be described as one of the world’s strongest crackdowns on the tobacco industry. It is another step toward the government’s objective of eliminating smoking in the country by 2025.
A brief about New Zealand approves the world’s first smoking ban for future generations
According to The Guardian, the number of establishments legally licenced to sell cigarettes will be decreased by a tenth across the country, from 6,000 to 600. The legislation passed its final reading on Tuesday evening and will take effect in 2023, as New Zealand tries to become “smoke-free” by 2025.
During the law’s passage on Tuesday, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall stated that “thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives, and the health system will be $5 billion better off by not having to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and amputations.”
The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill, according to The New Zealand Herald, proposes three major changes:
- Reduced nicotine concentration in smoked tobacco products.
- Reducing the number of cigarette sellers.
- Making certain that tobacco is not sold to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.
After clearing its final reading in Parliament with support from Labour, the Greens, and Te Paati Maori, the measure is now likely to become law.
In New Zealand, the smoking rate is already low, with only 8% of persons smoking daily, down from 9.4% a year and a half ago and half the rate ten years ago.