Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. To curb the rising death toll, New Zealand came up with new tobacco laws for Gen Z,levying a lifetime ban on underaged smoking.
The announcement made on 9 December said New Zealand is committed to meeting a national objective of lowering smoking rates to 5% by 2025, with the goal of eventually eradicating the practice entirely.
The government will introduce new legislation laws next year, that will impose a lifetime ban on smoking for people born after 2008. It will be effective by 2027.
This move will ensure that access to tobacco and nicotine levels is restricted.
Associate Health Minister of New Zealand, Ms. Ayesha Verrall said:
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.
The new law is an attempt to curb exponential deaths due to smoking in people aged 18 and under. Starting from 2024, the legislation will also reduce the number of shops that can sell tobacco.
Black market for tobacco
New Zealand is dedicated to achieving a national target of reducing smoking rates to 5% by 2025. At the moment, 13% of Kiwis smoke, with the ultimate goal to eliminate the habit completely.
But what can be the adversities?
Critics suspect that the brave move to curb the intake of nicotine might prove to be dangerous; as it will create a huge black market for illegal smuggling of tobacco.
Health ministry officials stated:
Customs will need more resource to enforce border control.
Currently, Kiwis vape on e-cigarettes to reduce smoking, which is in force since 2017.