No smoking: New Zealand announces proposals to make the nation smoke-free by 2025

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 16, 2021, 04:30 PM(IST)

Smoking in times of coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )

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These plans include gradually increasing the legal smoking age, which could lead to a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to people born after 2004

New Zealand has announced a number of proposals that intend to outlaw smoking for the next generation and making the nation smoke-free by 2025. 

These plans include gradually increasing the legal smoking age, which could lead to a complete ban on the cigarettes and tobacco products sale to people born after 2004, reports The Guardian. 

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Considerations are also being made to greatly reduce the level of nicotine allowed in tobacco products, set a minimum price for tobacco, and restrict places where these products are sold. 

"We need a new approach," Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday, as she announced the proposals. 

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"About 4,500 New Zealanders die every year from tobacco, and we need to make accelerated progress to be able to reach that goal [of Smokefree 2025]. Business-as-usual without a tobacco control program won't get us there."

Several public health organisations praised these proposals.  

"This proposal goes beyond assisting people to quit," Cancer Society chief executive Lucy Elwood in a statement said. 

She highlighted that the number of tobacco retailers was four times more in low-income communities, where smoking rates were at their maximum. 

"These glaring inequities are why we need to protect future generations from the harms of tobacco," Elwood said. 

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