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New Zealand Announces New Law To Prevent People From Ever Buying Cigarettes

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New Zealand Announces New Law To Prevent People From Ever Buying Cigarettes

New Zealand is bringing in a new law that will prevent young people from ever being able to buy normal cigarettes.

The country has committed to being smoke-free by 2025 and the government has now outlined their silver bullet in achieving that ambitious goal.

Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall revealed: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco."

She added: "We are also reducing the appeal, addictiveness and availability of smoked tobacco products."

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Those aged 14 and under, as well as anyone who is born after that, won't be able to pop into their local to get some ciggies for the rest of their lives.

At the moment, the legal smoking age is 18.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

According to the Daily Mail, there will be additional age groups added to the ban each year until it's illegal for the whole country to light up.

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Under the rules, cigarettes with only tiny amounts of nicotine will be available for purchase, however there will only be500 shops across New Zealand who will be permitted to sell them.

Dr Ayesha Verrall said these measures will ensure they stick to their goal of phasing our cigarettes and tobacco by 2025.

"We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply smoke tobacco products to new cohorts of young people," she said.

"While smoking rates are heading in the right direction, we need to do more, faster to reach our goal.

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"If nothing changes, it would be decades before Maori smoking rates fall below five per cent and this government is not prepared to leave anyone behind."

The government has been slowly increasing the cost of cigarettes over the last decade, with prices jumping 10 per cent year-on-year. A packet of 20 Marlboro ciggies in the country now costs $33, however there aren't any plans to continue increasing the price.

Authorities were hoping price alone would drive down tobacco use, however they're now upping the ante to stick to their goal of having 5 per cent or less of the population smoking.

The ban on people 14 and younger is expected to kick in at the end of next year.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: New Zealand

Stewart Perrie
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