New Zealand prohibits minors from ever purchasing cigarettes

New Zealand prohibits minors from ever purchasing cigarettes

During a break at the 2018 Methven Rodeo on October 21, 2018 in Methven, New Zealand, a competitor smokes a cigarette. Kai Schwoerer/Getty

The city of Wellington in New Zealand — On Tuesday, New Zealand enacted a novel proposal to eliminate tobacco use by prohibiting minors from ever purchasing cigarettes. The law prohibits the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after January 1, 2009.

It implies that the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes will continue to rise. In principle, anyone attempting to purchase a pack of cigarettes 50 years from now will need to present identification proving they are at least 63 years old.

But health officials expect that smoking will be eliminated well before then. The declared objective is to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025.

Additionally, the new law reduces the number of tobacco merchants from approximately 6,000 to 600 and reduces the quantity of nicotine permitted in smoked tobacco.

Dr. Ayesha Verrall, associate minister of health, informed members of parliament, “There is no valid rationale to allow the sale of a substance that kills fifty percent of its users.” And I can assure you that this will cease to exist once this legislation is enacted.

She stated that the health care system will save billions of dollars by not having to treat smoking-related ailments like cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and amputations. She stated that the bill would foster generational transformation and leave a legacy of improved health for young people.

FDA announces a ban on menthol cigarettes and cigars with flavoring at 5:26

The proposal was approved by a vote of 76 to 43, along party lines.

The libertarian ACT party, which opposed the bill, predicted that many tiny corner stores, known as dairies in New Zealand, would close if they were prohibited from selling cigarettes.

ACT’s deputy leader, Brooke van Velden, stated, “We oppose this bill because it is a terrible bill and bad policy; it’s as simple as that.” There will be no more favorable outcomes for New Zealanders.

She stated that the progressive prohibition amounted to a “nanny-state prohibition” that would result in a substantial underground market. She stated that prohibition never succeeded and always produced undesired results.

The rule has little effect on vaping, which has become more popular in New Zealand than smoking.
Statistics New Zealand stated last month that 8% of adults in New Zealand smoked daily, a decrease from 16% ten years ago. In the meantime, 8.3% of adults vape daily, an increase from less than 1% six years ago.

Currently, more Americans consume cannabis than cigarettes.

Approximately 20% of Indigenous Mori report smoking, which is significantly higher than the national average.
New Zealand currently restricts cigarette sales to those 18 and older, mandates graphic health warnings on tobacco packages, and sells cigarettes in standard packaging.

In recent years, New Zealand has also implemented a series of substantial tax increases on cigarettes.
Several health organizations applauded the new law. According to Health Coalition Aotearoa, the new law represents decades of arduous work by health and community organizations.

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