July 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The country that will ban the sale of cigarettes to those born after 2009

New generations of New Zealanders will be banned from buying tobacco, under a package of new anti-tobacco laws passed by parliament today that are among the toughest in the world.

The legislative package provides for a ban on the sale of tobacco to persons born on January 1, 2009 or later. The ban will be in effect for life. The legislation does not introduce new restrictions on vaping, but reduces allowable amount of nicotine in tobacco productsx and limits the number of retailers by 90%.

“This law accelerates progress towards a smoke-free future,” said Deputy Minister of Health Ms Ayesa Veral. “Thousands of people live longer and healthier lives, and the health care system will save $5 billion by not having to treat diseases caused by smoking, including various types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations“.

Legal outlets are predicted to drop from 6,000 today to 600 by the end of 2023. New Zealand, which already has one of the lowest rates of adult smokers among 38 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, is moving to further tighten its anti-tobacco laws as part of the government’s effort to “save the country cigarette free” by 2025. Only Bhutan, which banned the sale of cigarettes in 2010, will have a stricter anti-smoking law.

The number of adults who smoke in New Zealand has halved in the past decade, to 8%, with 56,000 quitting last year. According to the OECD, 25% of French adults smoked in 2021. ACT New Zealand, the party that holds 10 of the 120 seats in parliament, denounced the law, saying it would destroy small shops and force people to “turn their eyes” to the black market. “No one wants people to smoke, but the reality is that some will continue to do so,” said party vice president Brooke van Velden.

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