New Zealand is banning young people from the age of 14 to buy cigarettes in their lifetime, this program is aims to make the entire country smoke-free by 2025 as the country set to eradicate smoking forever.
Each year the age limit will be increased until it’s illegal for the entire nation under NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s radical plan.
‘We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offense to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth,’ associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday.
The move comes as a new poll reveals most Australians want a total ban on all cigarette sales in shops.
Under the new NZ restrictions, Dr Verrall said: ‘People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be-able to legally purchase tobacco.
‘We are also reducing the appeal, addictiveness, and availability of smoked tobacco products.
The minimum age to buy cigarettes in New Zealand remains 18 for the moment.
The government is also restricting the number of shops allowed to sell cigarettes.
Just 500 nationwide will be issued with a licence, similar to a bottle shop’s license to sell alcohol.
The nicotine strength in cigarettes is also being reduced in a bid to tackle their addictiveness.
Cigarettes prices have gone up 10 percent every year between 2011 and 2020 but that alone was not stopping smokers.
Eventually – with existing smokers dying – health officials hope to see the entire country smoke-free.
‘New laws will mean only smoked tobacco products containing very low levels of nicotine can be sold, with a significant reduction in the number of shops who can sell them.’
The new rules will not come into effect immediately to allow retailers to transition away from relying on cigarette sales, said Dr Verrall.