Wellington: New Zealand’s government believes it has come up with a unique plan to end tobacco smoking — a lifetime ban for those aged 14 or younger. Under a new law which the government announced on Thursday and plans to pass next year, the minimum age to buy cigarettes would keep rising year after year. That means, in theory at least, 65 years after the law takes effect, shoppers could still buy cigarettes — but only if they could prove they were at least 80 years old. In practice, officials hope smoking will fade away decades before then. Indeed, the plan envisages a goal of having fewer than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.
Other parts of the plan include allowing only the sale of tobacco products with very low nicotine levels and slashing the number of stores that can sell them. The changes would be brought in over a period of time to help retailers adjust. Because the current minimum age to buy cigarettes in New Zealand is 18, the lifetime smoking ban for youth wouldn't have an impact for a few years.
The new law wouldn't impact ‘vaping’.
While public health experts have generally welcomed the plan, not everybody is happy, especially small businesses -- nearly 5,000 corner stores and gas stations.