New Zealand plans to eliminate smoking for the next generation by 2025

 The legislation will mean that people under the age of 14 will never be able to buy tobacco legally. 

New Zealand plans to eliminate smoking for the next generation by 2025
New Zealand plans to eliminate smoking

New Zealand has announced that it will ban smoking for the next generation, so those who are 14 or younger today will never be able to buy tobacco legally. The new laws mean that the legal smoking age will increase every year to create a smoke-free generation of New Zealanders, Deputy Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall said Thursday. 

"Today is a very important day for the health of our people," she said.

The government announced raising the age, among other measures to make smoking prohibitive and inaccessible, in order to achieve its goal of making the country completely smoke-free in the next four years. Other measures include reducing the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco products to very low levels, reducing businesses where cigarettes could be legally sold, and increasing funding for addiction services.

The new laws will not restrict the sales of vaporizers. The guidelines were welcomed by public health experts on Thursday. “"New Zealand is once again a global leader, this time with a state-of-the-art smokeless implementation plan by 2025, which is a significant breakthrough," stated a spokesperson for the country. Dr. Natalie Walker, director of the University of Auckland's Addiction Research Centre. Reducing nicotine in cigarettes was a global primitive, said Chris Bullen, professor of public health. From a health perspective, "All my wishes have come true in terms of health," she remarked. 

This year, a poll of 19,000 high school students indicated that over 20% of them vaped at least once a day or many times a day with significant nicotine dosages. Smoking has already been mostly replaced by vaping among young New Zealanders. Those who were 15-17 in 2018 smoked every day, compared to 3% of those who smoked a decade ago.

The plan has been criticized by some parties. The Act party says that reducing the amount of nicotine in products will hurt lower-income people the most because they will have to buy more cigarettes and smoke more to get the same amount of nicotine. He said that the low levels required by law had been studied and proven to help people quit.

Concerns have also been raised about the growth of the black market for tobacco, as well. In its first proposals, the government said that "evidence shows that the number of tobacco products being smuggled into New Zealand has gone up a lot in recent years, Large-scale smuggling is carried out by organized criminal organizations.

The first plans for a generation of New Zealanders who don't smoke have now been put together after public consultation. First, they were talked about in April. As long as they follow the law, they will still have to go through the process. But they should not run into any problems. Smokefree 2025 is a big policy for Labour, and the party has a lot of power in New Zealand's parliament. He said the law would be passed in 2022, and the age limits would start in 2023.