• April 18, 2024

New Zealand to Scrap Generational Ban Today

 New Zealand to Scrap Generational Ban Today
Photo: dudlajzov

New Zealand was set to repeal its generational tobacco ban today, reports Reuters.

Scheduled to take effect from July, the measure would have banned sales of tobacco products to anyone born after Jan. 1, 2009, required tobacco companies to lower the nicotine content of their products and reduced the number of tobacco retailers by 90 percent.

Conceived by New Zealand’s previous government, the ban was abandoned after elections in October 2023 brought to power a new coalition. By treating the repeal as a matter of urgency, the government can scrap the ban without seeking public comment.  

New Zealand’s reversal has attracted fierce criticism from public health advocates, who claimed the new government was doing the tobacco industry’s bidding.

“This is major loss for public health and a huge win for the tobacco industry—whose profits will be boosted at the expense of Kiwi lives,” Boyd Swinburn, co-chair of Health Coalition Aotearoa in New Zealand, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Minister of Health Shane Reti has defended New Zealand’s plans to repeal the smoke-free legislation. He said his administration was committed to cutting smoking rates and referred to the potential of harm reduction tools such as vaping to help achieve the desired reductions.