New Zealand has announced plans to make it legally impossible for the next generation of adults to purchase tobacco products as part of a drive to create a smoke-free country by 2025. Expected to come into force next year, the new legislation will see the legal smoking age increase annually, so that those born after 2008 will never be allowed to buy cigarettes in their lifetime.
Announcing the measure, health minister Dr Ayesha Verrall explained that “smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and causes one in four cancers.”
“We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth. People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco.”
In addition to periodically raising the legal smoking age, the new legislation will drastically restrict the amount of nicotine that cigarettes can contain, while reducing the number of outlets that are allowed to sell tobacco products. Currently, some 8,000 stores across New Zealand are licensed to sell cigarettes, yet this figure is expected to fall to below 500 by the time the new law comes into full effect.
Categories: Therapeutic State