Opinions

New Zealand Starts Banning Cigarettes

New Zealand will be implementing a strategy to phase out cigarettes. Those who were born after 2008 will be banned from buying cigarettes. Complementing this strategy is an initiative aimed at reducing nicotine in certain products. Law has passed in parliament which will make cigarettes weaker, less accessible and banned for anyone under the age of fourteen.


When analysed, one understands that this new legislation will raise the smoking age limit every year and should reduce the number of people consuming tobacco products. The implementation of this new legislation means that in the long-term, smoking should cease to exist. This is expected to bring about health benefits which will lead to better lives for thousands of people. Many individuals will lead longer and healthier lives with less burdens on hospitals to treat the negative effects of smoking such as cancers, heart attacks, strokes and amputations.

Although this measure might be perceived as a strategy to tackle a problem, it is important to note that New Zealand does not really have a smoking problem. A low percentage represents the amount of actual smokers, standing at eight per cent. The objective of New Zealand is to drive these numbers down to below five per cent by 2025. The new law will not only restrict the consumption of cigarettes based on age, but will also reduce the amount of retailers that would be eligible to sell tobacco products. The current figure of retail outlets that can sell tobacco products is six thousand and this is expected to reduce to six hundred across the entire country.

Another major change that is expected to be implemented is that surrounding the reduction of nicotine in tobacco products. The objective is to have nicotine reduced to certain levels where it no longer remains addictive. 

There are those who warned that this strict policy might bring about certain risks and disadvantages. One of which could be the fuelling of the unregulated sales of tobacco items to people who might not be eligible to purchase. So far, the new laws set to be implemented do not delve into vape products.

The damage done by cigarettes and tobacco products is incontrovertible. Over the years, there has been an increasing awareness about the long-term detriment of cigarettes and tobacco products, with more people understanding the potential ramifications. 

Only time will tell whether the New Zealand model will serve as an example for others. What do you think about the approach adopted? Is it something you deem right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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