New Zealand is planning to make the nation ‘smoke free’ by 2025 and is considering proposals focused on elimination of smoking in nation. It includes a radical initiative which would ban the sale of tobacco to anyone born after 2004.
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Under the country’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan, it plans to increase legal smoking age gradually.
Government will also set a minimal cost for all tobacco products. There may be some reduction in the nicotine level allowed in tobacco products.
Health minister of New Zealand, Ayesha Verrall said, “much work still needs to be done,” particularly to reduce tobacco use among “Maori, Pacific peoples and those living in our most disadvantaged communities.”
He also said that around 4,500 New Zealanders die each year from tobacco-related ailments and that the government was committed to “accelerated progress” in its fight against smoking.
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“We need a new approach. Business-as-usual without a tobacco control program won’t get us there,” Verall argued.
People are also invited to share feedback about this initiative that was released on Thursday.
Residents are allowed to share their thoughts about this plan till May 31. It will enter the next phase to become a law after May 31.
This plan has been introduced by some advocacy groups, however others warned that it may bankrupt shop owners. It also fueled unregulated black market for tobacco products.