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New Zealand BANS smoking: Young people will NEVER buy cigarettes as nation goes ‘smoke-free’ 


New Zealand BANS smoking: Radical new laws will stop young people from EVER buying cigarettes as nation goes ‘smoke-free’

  • Anyone aged under 14 will be banned from EVER buying cigarettes in their life
  • Additional age groups will be added until it’s illegal throughout New Zealand
  • The target is to wipe out smoking entirely by 2025 as part of a 15-year program


New Zealand is banning young people from ever being allowed to buy cigarettes in a rolling program to make the entire country smoke-free by 2025.

No-one under the age of 14 will ever be allowed to buy cigarettes in their lifetime in a desperate bid to eradicate smoking from the country.

Each year an additional age group will be added to the ban list 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 offence to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth,’ associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday. 

New Zealand is banning youngsters from ever being allowed to buy cigarettes under a rolling program to make the entire country smoke-free by 2025

‘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. 

NEW ZEALAND’S RADICAL PLAN TO COMBAT SMOKING 

Under the new proposals, young people aged under 14 will never be allowed to buy cigarettes in New Zealand.

Each year a new age group will be added to the ban list, increasing the percentage of the population who will never legally be allowed to smoke.

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 licence 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 per cent 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.

Each year an additional age group will be added to the ban list until it's illegal for the entire nation.

Each year an additional age group will be added to the ban list until it’s illegal for the entire nation.

Just 500 shops nationwide will be allowed to sell cigarettes once the new legislation is implemented, and will need to apply for a licence similar to a bottle shop’s licence to sell alcohol.

The national target is to have just five per cent or less of the New Zealand population still smoking by 2025. 

As part of the strategy, cigarette prices have increased by 10 per cent every year for the 10 years between 2011 and 2020, but no further tax hikes are now proposed.

A packet of 20 Marlboro cigarettes in New Zealand now costs around NZ$33 but that strategy alone was failing to have the impact needed to hit the 2025 target.

Research found the Maori population would not hit the target until 2061 without the radical steps now being taken.

The age group plan is part of a wider strategy with strict limitats on smoking and vaping areas, bans on tobacco advertising and sponsorships, and uniform packaging. 

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