New Zealand is set to ban the sale of tobacco to its next generation, in a bid to eventually phase out smoking.
Reports say 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.
The Health Minister , Doctor Ayesha Verall said the move is to make sure young people never start smoking.
The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand’s health ministry on Thursday , December 8, 2021.
Doctors and other health experts in the country have however 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.
Currently, about 13% of New Zealand adults smoke, down from 18% about a decade ago. But the rate is much higher – about 31%- among the indigenous Maori population who also suffer a higher rate of disease and death.