New Zealand will ban the sale of tobacco to its next-generation, in a bid to eventually phase out smoking.
The government plans to introduce a law that will mean that anyone born after 2008 will never be able to buy cigarettes or any tobacco products in their lifetime in a law that is expected to be implemented next year.
The level of nicotine in cigarettes available to older people will be lowered from their current level and the number of retailers allowed to sell tobacco products will also be cut.
The move is part of a massive crackdown on smoking which is affecting the health of many of the 5 million citizens of New Zealand.
“While smoking rates are heading in the right direction, we need to do more, faster to reach our goal. If nothing changes, it would be decades till Maori smoking rates fall below 5%, and this government is not prepared to leave people behind.
“We’ve already seen the full impact of excise tax increases. The government recognises that going further will not help people quit, it will only further punish smokers who are struggling to kick the habit.”
The measures would make New Zealand’s tobacco laws among the world’s toughest, just behind Bhutan where cigarette sales are banned completely.
The legislation is expected to be introduced to parliament in June, with the aim of making it law by the end of next year with a transition period before it comes into effect.