New Zealand Smoke-Free Generation: Cigarette Ban for Anyone Born After 2004
New Zealand wants to be smoke-free by 2025. To achieve that goal, the government has launched some notable proposals. For example, anyone born after 2004 would never be able to repurchase cigarettes.
The New Zealand government also proposed lowering the nicotine content in tobacco products and banning filters. Other ideas were to set a minimum price for tobacco and to make locations where cigarettes are sold illegally.
The most striking proposal is that of the smoke-free generation. Anyone who turns 18 next year would never be able to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products. Smoking will then become entirely illegal for that generation, as you are only allowed to smoke in New Zealand from the age of 18.
“We need a new approach,” said Health Minister Ayesha Verrall during the announcements. “About 4,500 New Zealanders die from tobacco every year, and we need to make faster progress to be completely smoke-free by 2025. Business-as-usual without a tobacco control program will not help us with that. “
But the plans were also criticized. Cigarette shops, for example, would be heading for bankruptcy as a result of the proposals, and a large black market for tobacco could well arise. Right-wing political party ACT said lowering nicotine levels actually cause more harm: “New Zealand smokers who can least have enough money it will spend more on their habit and, in turn, do more harm to those around them. .”
One in four cancer deaths in New Zealand is a result of smoking. About half a million New Zealanders smoke every day. The indigenous population, the Māori, are especially ardent smokers. In fact, it is the foremost cause of death for Māori women.