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New Zealand plans world-first tobacco laws for smoke-free generation

Proposed laws, that include a rising purchasing age for cigarettes, have drawn praise and concern over their untested nature, as New Zealand legislators vow to break the “disgusting and bizarre” hold of cigarette companies.

Their world-first legislation plans, introduced on 26 July are aimed at preventing the next generation from ever being able to legally buy cigarettes, reports The Guardian.

The new measures have attracted a mixture of praise for innovation and concerns at their untested nature. As well as the shifting smoking age, they would dramatically reduce the nicotine in cigarettes, and force them to only be sold through specialty tobacco stores, rather than corner stores and supermarkets.

“For decades we have permitted tobacco companies to maintain their market share by making their deadly product more and more addictive. It is disgusting and it is bizarre. We have more regulations on the safety of the sale of a sandwich than on a cigarette,” said the Associate Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall, as she introduced the law for its first reading.

The Bill is at its first reading, and had near-universal cross-party support to pass through to select committee – the next stage of the legislative process, where MPs hear from expert and public submissions. The law is expected to come into effect in 2023. The rules target only tobacco products, and vaping will remain legal.

Opposition National MP Matt Doocey said while the party would support the Bill at this stage, they were concerned with its experimental nature.

“The policy’s untested nature means significant uncertainty in the outcomes.”

The Green Party also raised concerns about criminal prohibition pushing the industry underground. MP Chlöe Swarbrick also raised concerns about de-nicotinisation: “It’s untested anywhere and, therefore, will need some robust kicking around.”


The Guardian article – New Zealand moves ahead with world-first tobacco laws in bid to create smoke-free generation (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Denmark, Britain, Malaysia may follow New Zealand in youth smoking ban


Alarming results from New Zealand’s biggest youth vaping survey


New Zealand, United States ponder cutting nicotine levels in cigarettes


100 experts from 30 countries urge WHO to change tobacco harm reduction stance




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