In an effort to outlaw tobacco sales to future generations, New Zealand has implemented what may be the strictest tobacco control measures ever. The nation’s first anti-smoking regulations will go into force in 2023 and prevent anyone under the age of 14 from ever being able to purchase cigarettes, thereby eliminating smoking in New Zealand for the following generation.
The series of new laws passed in parliament, on Tuesday, are some of the most toughest in the world. ‘This legislation accelerates progress towards a smokefree future,’ said the country’s Associate Health Minister, Dr Ayesha Verrall, in a statement.
It added, ‘Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5 billion better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations etc’
The new laws prohibit the sale of tobacco to anybody who were born on or after January 1, 2009, and also establish a smoking age that rises yearly. Along with a fine of up to NZ$150,000 ($95,910), the lifetime ban is also punishable by jail time. By 2025, these laws are intended to make New Zealand ‘smoke-free.’