As part of its attempts to become smoke-free by 2025, New Zealand has passed new regulations. The newest legislation prohibits anyone under the age of 14 from ever being able to legally purchase cigarettes. The decision to ban smoking for the next generation would be a first in the world.
According to associate health minister Ayesha Verrall, “Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5bn better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations.”
The laws passed their final reading on Tuesday evening and will come into force in 2023. The number of stores legally allowed to sell cigarettes will be reduced to a tenth of their existing levels – from 6,000 to just 600 countrywide.
Tobacco will not be sold to anyone who was born on or after January 1, 2009, in New Zealand, which will be the first country in the world to specify the age for smoking that increases every year.
The amount of nicotine that is legally allowed to be present in tobacco products will be drastically reduced, and instead of being sold in corner stores and supermarkets, they will have to only be sold through specific tobacco stores, according to The Guardian.
These laws will also be accompanied by a number of other initiatives to make smoking more expensive and less accessible.
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