New Zealand to ban cigarettes for future generations
5:19:55 2021-12-15 160

New Zealand will ban the sale of tobacco to its next generation, in a bid to eventually phase out smoking.

Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime, under a law expected to be enacted next year.

"We want to make sure young people never start smoking," Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said.

The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand's health ministry on Thursday.

Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the "world-leading" reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.

"It will help people quit or switch to less harmful products, and make it much less likely that young people get addicted to nicotine," said Prof Janet Hook from the University of Otago.

However, others have warned that the move may create a black market for tobacco - something the health ministry's official impact statement does acknowledge, noting "customs will need more resource to enforce border control".

In recent years, vaping - smoking e-cigarettes which produce a vapour that also delivers nicotine - has become far more popular among younger generations than cigarettes.

New Zealand health authorities warn however, that vaping is not harmless. Researchers have found hazardous, cancer-causing agents in e-cigarette liquids as well.

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