New Zealand announced on Wednesday that it will prohibit those under 14 years of age from buying tobacco, a law that will have to be approved by Parliament before it becomes effective and that is part of the fight against smoke that the New Zealand country has been carrying out since 2011.
The proposal foresees progressively raise the minimum age to acquire tobacco in a new plan to cut this addiction that will mean that today’s youth will never be able to legally buy cigarettes, the government explained.
“We want to make sure that young people never start smoking, so from now on it will be a crime to sell or supply tobacco-related products to young people under 14 years of age ”, assured the minister.
New Zealand currently prohibits the sale of tobacco to persons under 18 years of age. With the new law, starting in 2027 it will rise by one year each year, preventing the generation that at that time reaches 18 from ever being able to buy tobacco legally, said Associate Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall.
“It is a historic day for the health of our people,” he said. “Smoking is still the leading cause of foreseeable death in New Zealand and it causes one in four cancers, “he added.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health launched a campaign that seeks to create a smoke-free environment by 2025 and which promises to address the harm that smoking has caused to New Zealanders, which causes one in four deaths in the country and is more common in Maori, Pacific and low-income communities.
“If the situation does not change, it will take decades for the smoking rate in the Maori community to drop by five percent ”, said Verrall, who also explained that “by preventing people from starting smoking and helping those who smoke to quit is to cover both ends of the spectrum.”
With this law, despite the fact that young people will only be able to buy tobacco with low doses of nicotine and few stores will be able to provide it.
The associate minister pointed out that the government also They will legislate to restrict where tobacco is sold and only allow low-nicotine products on the market to reduce the chances of people getting addicted.
The minister pointed out that in the most affected communities the average number of smokers is double that of 13.5% of the rest of the population. The government expects to reduce this percentage to 5% over the next four years, which, in its opinion, would save the public system $ 3.6 million.
(With information from AFP and Europa Press)
Smoking and drinking alcohol could affect the immune response of the COVID-19 vaccine
Vaping causes the same genetic damage as cigarette smoking
The e-cigarette trap: those who use it are twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction