HomeWorldNew Zealand bans tobacco sales for the next generation | CNN

New Zealand bans tobacco sales for the next generation | CNN





CNN

New Zealand passed a landmark anti-smoking bill in Parliament on Tuesday, banning the sale of tobacco to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.

The ban is intended to prevent future generations from taking up smoking and is part of a broader government push to make the country “smoke-free” by 2025.

The new law will also reduce the number of retailers licensed to sell tobacco, from 6,000 to 600 by the end of 2023.

Violations of the new law are punishable by fines of up to NZ$150,000 (about $96,000).

“Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the healthcare system will be $5 billion better off by not having to treat diseases caused by smoking, such as numerous cancers, heart attacks, strokes, amputations,” said the minister. Health Associate, Ayesha. Verrall said in a statement.

Smoking rates in New Zealand, already among the lowest in the world, are falling, having fallen from 9.4% to 8% in the last 12 months, according to Verrall.

Verrall said the legislation would help close the gap in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori citizens, which can be as high as 25% for women.

The legislation, the Smoke-Free Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill, will also reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in tobacco products, with the goal of making them less addictive.

According to the Ministry of Health, New Zealand’s smoking rate is now the lowest since records began, with 56,000 smokers quitting last year.

However, vaping, which is not covered by the new legislation, remains popular with young New Zealanders. Official data shows that 8.3% of adults now vape daily, up from 6.2% last year.



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