New Zealand bans cigarettes for all those born after 2009

Health authorities are aiming to make the country smoke-free by 2025.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC
Kiwis born after 2009 will not be able to purchase legal cigarettes, according to a new law by Jacinda Ardern's Labour party that seeks to make the country smoke-free.

The law would grandfather tobacco use to those born before January 1 of 2009, reports the Daily Mail. This would mean that 50 years from now, one would have to be 63 or older to buy cigarettes in New Zealand.

Health authorities are aiming to make the country smoke-free by 2025.

The law will also reduce the number of retailers who can sell tobacco by 90 percent, which would leave just 600 stores.

New Zealand's associate minister of health said that the legislation seeks to ban cigarettes from use, saying that "There is no good reason to allow a product to be sold that kills half the people that use it.

"And I can tell you that we will end this in the future, as we pass this legislation," she continued.

The New Zealand health system hopes that billions of dollars will be saved by cutting smoking, as it causes cancer, increases blood pressure, strokes, and causes a variety of other diseases.

Lawmakers voted to pass the legislation 76 to 43.

New Zealand's right-wing ACT party, which voted against the bill, said that corner stores would go out of business without cigarettes to sell.

"We stand opposed to this bill because it's a bad bill and its bad policy, its that straightforward and simple," said ACT's deputy leader Brook van Velden.

"There won't be better outcomes for New Zealanders," van Velden said.

Van Velden called it "nanny-state prohibition" which would create a black market.

Statistics New Zealand has found that 8 percent of New Zealand adults smoked daily, down from 16 percent a decade ago. 8.3 percent of adults vape daily, an increase of 1 percent from six years ago. Indigenous Maori populations smoke more than the average New Zealander, with around one-fifth reporting that they smoke.

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