New Zealand announced on Thursday that it will prohibit young people from purchasing cigarettes for the rest of their lives, one of the toughest approaches in the world to reducing smoking deaths, as part of a broader plan to address the disproportionate impact on its indigenous Maori population.
New Zealand is already one of 17 countries that require plain cigarette packaging. It also prohibits sales to anyone under the age of 18, but it claims that these measures are insufficient to achieve its goal of achieving a national adult smoking rate of less than 5% by 2025.
According to New Zealand health officials, smokers typically start smoking when they are young, with four out of every five New Zealanders starting by the age of 18 and 96 percent by the age of 25. They hope to avoid 5,000 preventable deaths each year by preventing a generation from starting to smoke.
WHAT OTHER CHANGES ARE IN THE WORKS?
The proposed legislation, which the government hopes to pass by the end of next year, will first limit the number of stores that can sell cigarettes beginning in 2024. It will then reduce the amount of nicotine - the most addictive ingredient - in cigarettes beginning in 2025, making them easier to quit. Finally, starting in 2027, it will usher in the "smoke-free" generation.
HOW ARE THE RULES GOING TO BE APPLIED?
The authorities in New Zealand have not stated how they intend to enforce the ban or which retailers will be prohibited from selling tobacco products. More information is expected to be provided when legislation is introduced in parliament next year.
WILL NEW ZEALAND BE THE MOST HARSH ANTI-TOBACCO JURISDICTION IN THE WORLD?
No, not quite. In 2010, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan outright prohibited the sale of cigarettes (although it lifted the ban temporarily in 2020 to stop black market imports from India during a COVID-19 border closure, Al-Jazeera reported).
WHAT COMES NEXT?
A Maori taskforce comprised of tobacco control and public health experts will advise on the plan, which the New Zealand government hopes to implement by the end of 2022. The government says it wants to phase in the changes to reduce the economic impact on retailers and give people with mental health issues - a group with far higher smoking rates - time to adjust.
If only south Africa can adopt the law alot can change ,crime rate can decrease
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