New Zealand smoke-free by 2025: It is an ambitious government headed by Jacinda Ardern, which has announced a series of proposals aimed at banning cigarettes for the generation born after 2004. An ambitious turning point, has found supporters but also critics, as well as suspicion that the authorities are too strict On individual freedoms.
“About 4,500 New Zealanders die every year from tobacco and we need to accelerate the goal of eliminating smoking in 2025,” Assistant Health Minister Aisha Viral announced about the new government’s proposals. Because, he explained, “We need a new approach and without a tobacco control program we will not achieve the goal.”
The plans include a gradual increase in the legal smoking age, and a ban on selling cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2004, making smoking practically illegal for this generation. In addition, a significant drop in nicotine levels and restricted sales of tobacco and cigarettes were considered.
Several public health organizations have welcomed the proposals. This indicates that smoking is more pronounced in lower-income societies. “This stark inequality is why we need to protect future generations from the harms of tobacco,” said Lucy Ellwood, Executive Director of the Cancer Society.
At the same time, there are doubts and criticisms about the smoke-free transition that Labor Prime Minister Ardern has pursued. Small shopkeepers who sell tobacco are shivering, and there is also a risk that organized crime will thrive on the black market (the government itself has recognized this risk). The right-wing opposition also found that lowering nicotine could have the opposite effect of getting people to smoke more. Above all, anti-smoking pressure raised questions about the extent to which the government could go to interfere with people’s lives.
Cigarettes in New Zealand cause one in four deaths from cancer, and nearly half a million people are addicted to smoking. Among the most dangerous smokers there are Maori. So much so, that cancer is the leading cause of death among women in the indigenous community. The second is among men. (handle).
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