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New Zealand to ban the sale of cigarettes to people born after 2008

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New Zealand will ban smoking to anyone born after 2008. The goal is to phase out smoking in the country.

Young New Zealanders under the age of 18 are currently prohibited by law from purchasing products containing tobacco. According to a bill expected to be enacted in 2022, starting in 2027, the minimum age for buying tobacco will increase by one year each year. Therefore, anyone born after 2008 will never be able to buy tobacco legally.

Through this project, announced on Thursday, December 9, the government wishes to gradually eliminate smoking in its country.

“This will help people quit smoking or switch to less harmful products, and make it much less likely that kids will get addicted to nicotine,” says Janet Hook, professor at the University of Otago.

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The risk estimated by the British American Tobacco New Zealand, and recognized by the Department of Health, is the creation of a black market around tobacco. For the company, these measures are “untested, unfounded and without any scientific proof of their effectiveness. […] The consequences are in fact a progressive ban, which only pushes for sale on the black market. ”

New Zealand, land of tobacco control

According to the BBC, New Zealand is determined to achieve a 5% national smoking rate. The objective is to achieve a rate of almost zero by 2025.

As part of this measure, the country will considerably restrict the places where cigarettes are sold, in particular by withdrawing them from supermarkets. The number of outlets is expected to drop from 8,000 to less than 500.

These are not the first measures put in place by the New Zealand government, since in 1990 the tobacco industry was prohibited from sponsoring the sports sector. In 2004, smoking in bars was also banned.

According to Ayesha Verrall, Minister of Health, this operation will save nearly 5.5 billion New Zealand dollars, or just over 3 billion euros from spending related to the health problems of smokers.

Today, 13.5% of adults in New Zealand are smokers. Thursday, during the crackdown announcements, the minister confirmed that nearly a quarter of cancers identified in the country are caused by smoking. She then added that it is the leading cause of death among 5 million New Zealanders.

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