New Zealand Proposes Banning Tobacco Sales to Future Generations

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New Zealand is considering a variety of measures to greatly reduce the number of smokers in the country including one idea that would ban tobacco sales to anyone born after a certain day.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health has published a discussion document called, “Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.” It outlines various ideas that the ministry has at trying to make New Zealand “smokefree” by 2025 and gives the public six weeks to submit comments on the document. It defines “smokefree” as less than 5 percent of the population smoking daily.

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Its most ambitious policy is one that could ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after a certain date. In the document, the government proposes this example:

For example, if legislation commenced on 1 January 2022, then people younger than 18 years at that time or those born after 1 January 2004 would never be able to lawfully be sold smoked tobacco products.

The document also suggests other proposals including setting a minimum price for tobacco products to make them less affordable, reducing the number of retailers who can sell tobacco, reducing the amount of nicotine in tobacco products, introducing new tobacco license requirements for retailers, and increasing anti-smoking campaigns.

New Zealanders have until May 31, 2021 to provide their feedback to the government.

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