In an effort to finally phase out smoking, New Zealand will prohibit the selling of tobacco to the next generation.
According to a regulation that should be adopted next year, everyone born after 2008 will be unable to purchase tobacco products or cigarettes during their lifetime.
Dr. Ayesha Verall, the Minister of Health, stated that the final goal was to make sure that young people never start smoking.
New Zealand’s health ministry explained that the move was a part of an all-around anti-smoking campaign.
Health experts and doctors in the country have applauded the “world-leading” regulations, which will restrict access to cigarettes and tobacco.
The crackdown has been met with mixed reactions.
While some describe the move as wonderful, others believe that this move could lead to a tobacco black market. The health ministry acknowledges this possibility in the official statement, which states that customs would require additional resources to enforce border control.
Sunny Kaushal, head of the Diary and Business Owners group, told New Zealand’s Stuff news site that this is one hundred percent theory and zero percent substance. Kaushal warns about the possible crime wave.
New Zealand is committed to meeting a national objective of reducing smoking rates to 5% by 2025, with the goal of eventually eliminating the practice entirely.
Officials predict the number of shops that will have the authorization to sell cigarettes will also be cut significantly.