New Zealand has passed a law outlawing smoking for the benefit of future generations. Next year, New Zealand will gradually implement an almost complete tobacco prohibition. According to legislation that the parliament approved on Tuesday, no one born after 2008 will ever be permitted to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products.
As a result, fewer people will be able to purchase tobacco each year. For instance, 40-year-olds won’t be allowed to buy cigarettes in 2050.
The bill’s sponsor, Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, described it as a move “toward a smoke-free future.”
Thousands of individuals will live longer, healthier lives, and the health system will benefit by $5 billion (US$3.2 billion) since smoking-related illnesses won’t need to be treated, according to Dr. Verrall.
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According to government data released in November, only 8% of New Zealand adults smoke daily, which is already at an all-time low (9.4% last year).
By 2025, it is intended that the Smokefree Environments Bill would bring that number down to fewer than 5%, with the ultimate goal of doing away with the practice entirely.
The measure also aims to cut nicotine levels in goods to make them less addictive and limit the number of stores selling smoked tobacco products to 600 nationally from the current 6,000.
In addition, communities will be free from the expansion and clustering of retailers that target and sell tobacco products in specific locations, according to Dr. Verrall. “It implies nicotine will be reduced to non-addictive levels,” he stated.
She continued by saying that the law might reduce the difference in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori citizens. Maori citizens smoke 19.9% less than they did a year ago when it was 22.3%.
Vape goods, which have become far more popular among younger generations than cigarettes, are not prohibited by the new regulation.
The ACT party has ten seats and is among the bill’s opponents. They have warned that the legislation may encourage the illegal market for tobacco goods and lead to the closure of small businesses.
No one wants to see people smoke, but Labour’s nanny state ban on it will lead to issues, according to ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.