BBC NEWS – Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime, under a law expected to be enacted next year in New Zealand.
“We want to make sure young people never start smoking,” Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said.
The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand’s health ministry on Thursday.
Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the “world-leading” reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.
New Zealand is determined to achieve a national goal of reducing its national smoking rate to 5% by 2025, with the aim of eventually eliminating it altogether.
“New Zealand’s health ministry says smoking causes one in four cancers and remains the leading cause of preventable death for its five million strong population.”
Prof Janet Hook from the University of Otago said:
“It will help people quit or switch to less harmful products, and make it much less likely that young people get addicted to nicotine.”
At the moment, 13% of New Zealand’s adults smoke, with the rate much higher among the indigenous Maori population, where it soars to almost a third.
Maori also suffer a higher rate of disease and death.
As part of the crackdown announced on Thursday, the government also introduced major tobacco controls, including significantly restricting where cigarettes can be sold to remove them from supermarkets and corner stores …