Smoking in times of coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )
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.
Also read | Obesity killed more than smoking did: Study
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.
"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.