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New Zealand plans lifetime cigarette ban for youth

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NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand on Thursday said it will ban young people from buying cigarettes for life, one of the toughest approaches in the world to curbing smoking deaths as part of a wider plan that focuses on the disproportionate impact on its indigenous Maori population.

New Zealand is already one of 17 countries where plain cigarette packaging is compulsory. It also bans sales to anyone under 18, but it says those measures are not enough to reach its goal of a national adult smoking rate of less than 5% by 2025.

New Zealand plans to make it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone aged 14 and under from 2027. The ban will remain in place for the rest of the person’s life. That means a person aged 60 in 2073 will be banned from buying cigarettes, while a person aged 61 would be allowed to do so.

New Zealand health authorities say smokers typically take up the habit during youth, with four in five New Zealanders who smoke beginning by age 18 and 96% by age 25. By stopping a generation from taking up smoking, they hope to avoid about 5,000 preventable deaths a year.

The New Zealand authorities have not said how they plan to police the ban, nor which retailers would be barred from selling tobacco products. More detail is expected to be provided when legislation is brought before parliament next year.


Saturday, December 11, 2021 – 01:00

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