Planning for future generations ahead of time, New Zealand has proposed to ban future generations from consuming cigarettes.
People aged 14 and under in 2027 will never be allowed to purchase cigarettes in New Zealand, as part of proposals unveiled on Thursday that will also curb the number of retailers authorised to sell tobacco and cut nicotine levels in all products.
The minimum age to buy cigarettes would keep rising year after year, this means, 65 years after the law takes effect, shoppers could still buy cigarettes — but only if they could prove they were at least 80 years old. In practice, officials hope smoking will fade away decades before then. Indeed, the plan sets a goal of having fewer than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.
“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,” New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said in a statement. “If nothing changes, it would be decades till Maori smoking rates fall below 5%, and this government is not prepared to leave people behind.”
This being said, the new law wouldn’t impact vaping. Verrall said that tobacco smoking is far more harmful and remains a leading cause of preventable deaths in New Zealand, killing up to 5,000 people each year.