Anyone born after 2008 will be unable to buy cigarettes
Jacinda Ardern and the NZ Labour Party’s new anti-smoking legislation means that anyone born after 2008 will be unable to purchase cigarettes or any other tobacco products.
As reported by the BBC, the law is set to come into effect from next year with the country determined to reach a nationwide smoking rate of just 5% by 2025, with the aim of eliminating it altogether in the future.
At present, approximately 13% of New Zealanders smoke – down from 18% of adults around a decade ago – however, the popularity remains much higher among the indigenous Maori population: around 31%, with the demographic suffering from a higher rate of disease and death.
Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said that New Zealand banning cigarettes is one of several steps they are taking to “make sure young people never start smoking”.
Closer to home, the UK’s own smoke-free campaign aims to wean the population off smoking by 2030, with cigarette and tobacco prices rising last month and Britain also becoming the first place in the world to prescribe vapes to those trying to quit.
Around 13.9% of adults in England still smoked back in 2019 – that’s approximately 6.9 million – but the numbers are said to be falling as people either quit or transition to vaping.
Vaping is also a popular alternative that has made the New Zealand cigarette ban possible, as e-cigarettes seem to be far more appealing to younger generations across the globe.
The country actually adopted vaping as its primary way of getting people to quit back in 2017 and while it certainly has benefits over traditional smoking, there are still warnings that it is not risk-free, with vaping recently linked to erectile dysfunction.
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