New Zealand Will Ban The Sale Of Tobacco To Anyone Born After 2008 For Their Lifetime

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

10 Dec 2021

New Zealand has announced it will prohibit its next generation from smoking who are aged 14 and under today will never be legally able to buy tobacco.

The sweeping crackdown has been welcomed by doctors and health-experts who claim the “world-leading” reforms will see “people quit or switch to less harmful products” and curb nicotine addictions.

Describing the policy as an “experiment” experts have suggested it could be used as a “global template for the eradication of smoking” if it succeeds.

“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,” said associate health minister Dr Ayesha Verrall. “People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco.”

The government announced the measures alongside others to make smoking unaffordable and inaccessible.

The legal smoking age in the country will increase every year, as well as the number of retailers allowed to sell cigarettes being dramatically cut.

Currently, 11.6% of all New Zealanders aged over 15 smoke, a proportion that rises to 29% among indigenous Maori adults, according to government figures.

“If nothing changes, it would be decades till Maori smoking rates fall below 5%, and this government is not prepared to leave people behind,” she added.

The legislation is expected to be introduced to parliament in June, with the aim of making it law by the end of next year. A transition period has also been touted.