New Zealand working to establish a “smokefree generation” with new action plan

New Zealand is cracking down on smoking with a potential new law. 

To cut down on tobacco use, the New Zealand Ministry of Health has concocted a Smokefree Action Plan that works to reduce daily smoking to 5 percent across all age groups by 2025. “The action plan has six key focus areas with ground-breaking policies to radically reduce the availability, addictiveness and appeal of smoked tobacco products,” the Ministry states. 

One of those focus areas is youth; people aged 14 and younger when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco, and it would be an offense to sell or supply smoking products to underage people. The country is also targeting the marketing aspect of tobacco, making it illegal to design logos and marketing products in a manner that would make people addicted.  

It also hopes to reduce the number of shops selling tobacco products and decreasing the amount of nicotine in those products. 

The Ministry reports that smoking kills between 4,000 and 5,000 people per year in New Zealand. The action plan has three specific outcomes: “eliminating inequities in smoking rates and smoking-related illnesses; creating a smokefree generation by increasing the number of children and young people who remain smokefree; and increasing the number of people who successfully quit smoking,” the Ministry writes. 

A bill connected to the plan is expected to be presented to Parliament in 2022.