New Zealand is considering a proposal that would make it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone born after 2004.
Per The Guardian, the potential ban is part of “a suite of proposals aimed at outlawing smoking for the next generation and moving the country closer to its goal of being smoke-free by 2025.”
In addition to making it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone born after 2004, this suite of proposals also includes “the gradual increase to the legal smoking age…a significant reduction in the level of nicotine allowed in tobacco products, prohibiting filters, setting a minimum price for tobacco, and restricting the locations where tobacco and cigarettes can be sold.”
Various public health officials and others opposed to the tobacco industry, in general, are thrilled by these potential proposals. Understandably, there are plenty who are outraged by these proposals. The concerns from these individuals range from the financial impact and potential bankruptcy of local New Zealand convenience stores to, obviously, the involvement of the government in people’s lives.
The Guardian cites a piece from New Zealand’s Spinoff from journalist Alex Braae who writes, “There is a clear public health case to be made for the proposals, and reaction from those groups has been positive…but there’s a philosophical principle about adults being able to make decisions for themselves, within reason.”
What will come of these proposals is not yet known, but many the world over will be eager to learn of any developments.