New Zealand implements forever ban on cigarettes for coming generations
New Delhi : In one of the world's toughest crackdown on the tobacco industry, New Zealand revealed its plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime.
People aged 14 and under in 2027 will never be allowed to purchase cigarettes in the Pacific country of five million, part of proposals unveiled on Thursday that will also curb the number of retailers authorised to sell tobacco and cut nicotine levels in all products.
"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," New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said in a statement.
"If nothing changes, it would be decades till Maori smoking rates fall below 5%, and this government is not prepared to leave people behind."
The plan aims at reducing nicotine requirement by 2025, and create smoke-free generation from 2027.
Smoking kills about 5,000 people a year in New Zealand, making it one of the country’s top causes of preventable death. Four in five smokers started before age 18, the country’s government said.