New Zealand Is Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoking & Here’s How

New Zealand Is Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoking & Here’s How They’ll Do It

It's for the sake of their small population too.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government has passed many productive laws during her term. Now, they’re addressing the global vice of smoking by banning New Zealand youth from starting to smoke at all. How are they going to do it? Well, the labour government recently passed a law that will ban anyone born after 2008 from buying cigarettes for their whole life. 

Also read: 10 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should Visit New Zealand

No more smoking in New Zealand in the near future

Image credit: Tim Marshall

With this new law banning those born after 2008 from buying a pack of smokes, everyone in New Zealand under the age of 14 right now will never be able to access cigarettes in their own country. The only way they could do that is if they have someone older to actually give them a cigarette. Currently, the legal age to buy cigarettes is 18, but New Zealand is also planning to increase the legal age of smoking every year in an attempt to create a smoke-free New Zealand. 

Taking into account a previous anti-smoking legislation that increases the price of cigarettes in New Zealand by 10% every year, these new measures will effectively make smoking unaffordable and inaccessible. 

Image credit: Te Pania

Apart from this effort to outlaw smoking in New Zealand, the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco will be reduced while the government increases the funding of rehabilitation services. New Zealand is aiming to cut its population of smokers to 5% or less by 2025, because it’s currently counting approximately 5,000 deaths due to tobacco-related diseases every year. This is a significant number considering New Zealand has a small population of five million people. 

Associate Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall expressed how much of a historic day the passing of the bill was to the health of New Zealanders. “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. People aged 14, when the law comes into effect, will never be able to legally purchase tobacco,” she shared. 

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For travellers out there who smoke and are aspiring to visit New Zealand, don’t fret because this law doesn’t apply to tourists (so far). Plus, those who have downgraded their smoking to vaping, whether local or foreigner, are completely unaffected by this. Looks like vapers can rest easy… for now. 

Featured image credit: Myriams-Fotos | Pixabay; Robert Pearce | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.