New Zealand to ban cigarettes for all future generations

new zealand, health, tobacco, cigarettes, smokeless, smoker, 2025, cancer, maori

The ban is part of New Zealand’s efforts to ban smoking by 2025. Photo: Fabian Sommer / photo alliance via Getty Images

The New Zealand government has said it will ban all sales of cigarettes for its future generations, as part of the country’s campaign to become smoke-free by 2025.

Announced Thursday, the ban means anyone currently 14 and under will never be able to legally buy tobacco in the country.

“For all the patients I have treated who have been killed or maimed by tobacco, this one is for you,” said New Zealand Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall. Twitter staff.

Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand today. It causes one in four cancers and causes 4,000 to 5,000 premature smoking-related deaths each year.

Health officials believe recent crackdowns will effectively eliminate smoking in the country, making New Zealand the first country in the world to become fully smoke-free.

Along with the ban, Verrall said supportive measures will also be introduced to help people trying to break their smoking habits.

The government will also reduce the legal levels of nicotine in smoked tobacco and reduce the number of stores that sell it.

According to government data, smoking among adults has increased from 18 percent in 2006 to 11.6 percent in 2020. But the smoking rate is much higher among the Maori and Pasifika populations of New Zealand (28, 7 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively), which also explains why this is crucial. to implement this ban, Verrall said.

“As smoking rates move in the right direction, we need to do more, faster to reach our goal. If nothing changes, it will be decades before Maori smoking rates drop below 5 percent, and this government is not ready to leave people behind, ”she said.

But this most recent legislation does not include a ban on vaping, which studies show is about two to three times more prevalent than smoking in New Zealand.

In a 2019 study, 10% of students surveyed vaped regularly, or at least once a month. Over 49% of these students were non-smokers before vaping.

Although some health experts Praising the government’s new legislation, Karen Chhour, spokesperson for New Zealand’s right-wing ACT party, called the new changes “bad policy”.

“The government’s progressive ban on all tobacco sales is an outright ban and will eventually create a black market,” she said in a statement.

A new law to implement the ban will be enacted sometime in 2022 to give companies the opportunity to switch to a new business model.

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