A new law in New Zealand is going to aim to make the entire country smoke-free by 2025. Here’s everything you need to know.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put her foot on the gas pedal in her quest to eradicate smoking within the country.
In a new rolling scheme, anybody under the age of fourteen years old will not be allowed to buy cigarettes, but not just until they reach a legal age…
This law means that they will not be able to buy cigarettes in their entire lifetime, therefore hopefully stopping people from smoking from a young age.
“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,” said Ayesha Verrall, the associate health minister, as per the Daily Mail.
But, the law doesn’t just stop there…
Because otherwise, how would that eradicate smoking by 2025, right? Well, each year the age limit will be increased so that eventually almost the entire nation will no longer be permitted to purchase cigarettes.
So, if the law was put in place by the end of 2022, at the end of 2023, anyone under the age of fifteen would not be allowed to purchase substances containing tobacco.
Now, this might come as a shock to readers because according to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 31.4 million adults are smokers in the US. In the UK, it’s around 6.9 million adults, as per Ash.Org.
In New Zealand, 11% of the population are now smokers, according to NPR, and that’s in a population of around 5 million people. So, roughly 550,000 people smoke in New Zealand, which is significantly lower than in the US and UK.
And a goal has been set that the percentage of New Zealand citizens smoking by the year of 2025 will be fewer than 5 percent.
To do this, they’re changing a lot about Tobacco in their country.
“We are also reducing the appeal, addictiveness, and availability of smoked tobacco products,” said Verrall.
“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,” she continued.
New Zealand have wanted to become a smoke-free country by 2025 since 2011, increasing the prices of cigarettes each year.
But, the prime minister no longer believes that this will help them reach their goal. And, that it only places a financial burden on those who are addicted to the substances they inhale into their bodies frequently.
So instead, they’re taking significantly larger measures to not only decrease the number of smokers but to decrease the addictiveness of such substances people purchase.
“This is an important milestone in the history of tobacco control, it’s a bold plan,” Verrall said.
The law will not yet be introduced in order to give retailers who rely on their tobacco sales, a chance to change the products on which they will now rely for an income.
What do you think about the new law?