New Zealand bans smoking for future generations

New Zealand wants to ban smoking by law for future generations. The parliament in the capital Wellington passed a corresponding legislative package on Tuesday. Thereafter, no tobacco may be sold to people born on or after January 1, 2009.

The new laws are expected to come into force next year. New Zealand’s government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, wants to make the country “smoke-free” by 2025.

The number of licensed tobacco sales outlets is also to be reduced from 6,000 to 600 by the end of 2023. In addition, the nicotine content in tobacco-containing products should decrease.

The measures are among the strictest in the world: Violations can result in fines of up to 150,000 dollars (equivalent to around 91,000 euros).

“There is no good reason to allow the sale of a product that kills half the people who use it,” Deputy Health Secretary Ayesha Verrall said in Parliament. New Zealand’s healthcare system will also save billions by eliminating the need to treat diseases such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes, which can also be caused by smoking.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, eight percent of all New Zealanders smoke every day. In 2021, 9.4 percent of the population would still smoke. (dpa)

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