New Zealand to become world’s first smoke-free country

People born in 2009 and later will never be able to buy cigarettes again

People born in 2009 and later will never be able to buy cigarettes again

A photo: Shutterstock

Authorities New Zealand for several years now they have been discussing how, they say, to make the people of the country smoke less, and cigarettes were sold not in a store on the corner, but only in specialized tobacco shops. After lengthy discussions and discussion of various bills, the government settled on the following option: develop a ban on the purchase of cigarettes. But not instant and total. And assuming an annual increase in the age limit for smokers. Thus, in a few years (the authorities hope to achieve serious progress by 2025), a smoke-free nation can be formed in New Zealand.

“Thousands of people will be healthier and live longer, and the health care system will receive $5 billion more in funds, because they will not need to treat diseases caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations,” explained the Deputy Minister of Health. Ayesha Verrol.

In 2023 the law comes into force, which would ban the sale of cigarettes to New Zealanders born after January 1, 2009 (including when they reach adulthood). There are fewer places to buy cigarettes. The number of stores that are legally allowed to sell tobacco has been reduced by a factor of 10, from 6,000 to 600 across the country.

However, the adopted anti-tobacco law does not imply a ban on vaping. Statistics show that those New Zealanders who were forced to give up cigarettes did well. passed over for smoking vapes. The percentage of those who smoke vape daily has increased, it has become 8.3% instead of 6.2% in 2021.

However, the actions of the authorities have a positive result. So the number of those who smoke every day decreased to 8% against 9.4% last year.

“The number of smokers has decreased by 56,000 people over the past year, despite the pressure and stress caused by the pandemic, and now the level of smoking is half that of 10 years ago,” the Deputy Minister emphasized.

The new law caused a mixed reaction from the public. The parliamentarians who considered it before adoption said that it was an honor for New Zealand to become the first country in the world that seeks to be free from smoking.

Some deputies note that with the adoption of such a law, the tobacco industry will go underground. And this can turn into much more serious problems for society.

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