New Zealand To Ban Smoking For Next Generation

New Zealand To Ban Smoking For Next Generatio

23/12/21 / Keyword: Smoking

Legislation will mean people currently aged 14 and under will never be able to legally purchase tobacco with the idea of outlawing the habit by 2025.

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Useful vocabulary

NZ: New Zealand

to outlaw something: to make something illegal; to ban or prohibit

to vape: to inhale and exhale vapour containing nicotine and flavourings, using a special device

an offence: a breach of the law or a rule, an illegal act

cutting-edge: highly advanced, innovative or pioneering

a game-changer: an event or idea that makes a change in the way things are done or thought about

survey (n): a report of people’s opinions or experiences based on a series of questions

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Legislation will mean people currently aged 14 and under will never be able to legally purchase tobacco with the idea of outlawing the habit by 2025.

When I went to NZ in 2015, I was still a smoker, and I was astonished at the prices of tobacco there. It cost over NZ$35 (over 20€) for 30g of rolling tobacco. The government promised to increase the price by 15% every six months. The price of the same 30g bag of tobacco in 2021 costs over NZ$70 (over 40€!!).

Now, New Zealand has announced it will outlaw smoking for the next generation, so that those who are aged 14 and under today will never be legally able to buy tobacco.

New legislation means the legal smoking age will increase every year, to create a smoke-free generation of New Zealanders, associate health minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday. “This is a historic day for the health of our people.”

The government announced the rising age alongside other measures to make smoking unaffordable and inaccessible to try to reach its goal of making the country entirely smoke-free within the next four years. Other measures include reducing the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco products to very low levels and cutting down the number of shops where cigarettes could legally be sold. The new laws will not restrict vape sales.

“We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply tobacco products to the youth. People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco,” Verrall said.

The policies were welcomed by public health experts on Thursday. “New Zealand once again leads the world – this time with a cutting-edge smoke-free 2025 implementation plan – it’s truly a game changer,” said Dr Natalie Walker, director of the Centre for Addiction Research at University of Auckland. The reduction of nicotine in cigarettes was a world first, said Chris Bullen, a public health professor. From a health perspective, “all my wishes have come true”, he said.

New Zealand’s daily smoking rates have been dropping over time – down to 11.6% in 2018, from 18% a decade earlier. Smoking has already been widely replaced by vaping among teenage New Zealanders, and is also attracting many young people who would never have taken up smoking – according to a survey of 19,000 high school students this year, nearly 20% were vaping daily or several times a day, the majority with high nicotine doses. That’s compared to 3% of those aged 15-17 who smoked daily in 2018, or 13% who smoked a decade earlier.
Verrall said the new legislation would be introduced in 2022, with the age limits coming in in 2023.

Adapted from this article from by ECP coach Darren “Kez” Kurien

Let’s chat about smoking!

  1. Have you ever smoked? Why/not?
  2. Do you think it is possible to ban smoking? Why/not?
  3. Is it a good idea to ban smoking? What problems do you think may happen?
  4. Do you think that if smoking were banned that vaping would increase? Why/not?
  5. Are there any other things you would like to see banned? Or made legal? Which things and why?

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