New Zealand plans to ban cigarettes sale for future generations 

06:35 PM | 9 Dec, 2021
New Zealand plans to ban cigarettes sale for future generations 

WELLINGTON – New Zealand plans to ban the sale of tobacco to its next generation, in a bid to make the country smokefree nation by 2025. 

Under the new law that is expected to come into effect next year, people born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or any tobacco products in their life time.  

“We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth. People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco,” said Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall in a statement.

The move is part of New Zealand’s historic crackdown on the tobacco industry in the country. Its Smokefree Action Plan aims to reduce daily smoking prevalence to less than 5 percent for all population groups across the motu by 2025.

The action plan has six key focus areas with ground-breaking policies to radically reduce the availability, addictiveness and appeal of smoked tobacco products. New policies include making it harder to buy these products by reducing the number of shops selling them and decreasing nicotine levels in smoked tobacco products to help people who smoke to quit smoking and help people, especially young people, to never become addicted.

New Zealand’s Population Health and Prevention Group Manager Jane Chambers said that smoking rates continue to head in the right direction but there is a lot more mahi ahead of the country. 

“Smoking kills approximately 4,500 to 5,000 people every year in New Zealand – that is around 12 to 13 deaths every day due to smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoked tobacco products take too many lives, and the impacts disproportionately affect Māori and Pacific people,” he said. 

The government will table the bill on action plan in the Parliament in mid-2022. The Bill will set out the timeframes for the legislative policies to be phased in.