New Zealand Parliament Passes No Smoking Act

Wellington, MINA – The New Zealand Parliament passed a smoking ban law on Tuesday. With this new law, anyone born after 2008 cannot buy cigarettes or tobacco products.

This means that the number of consumers of tobacco products will decrease every year.

New Zealand’s Health Minister, Ayesha Verrall, who proposed the law, said it was a step towards a tobacco-free future.

“Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and health systems will be NZ$5 billion better off not having to treat smoking-related diseases,” said Dr Verrall as quoted from BBC on Thursday.

New Zealand’s smoking rates are dropping precipitously, with only 8 per cent of adults smoking per day according to government statistics released in November. This figure is down from 9.4 percent last year.

It is hoped that the Smoke-Free Environment Law will reduce this number to less than 5 percent by 2025.

The law is also designed to limit the number of dealers selling tobacco products to just 600 nationwide, down from the current 6,000 retailers, as well as reduce nicotine levels in cigarette products to make them less addictive.

“That means nicotine will be reduced to non-addictive levels and society will be free from the proliferation and aggregation of retailers targeting and selling tobacco products in certain areas,” said Verrall.

The new legislation does not ban vape products or e-cigarettes, which are growing in popularity among young people. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)