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New Zealand aims to become smoke-free

New Zealand Smoking Ban
Posted at 8:23 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 20:25:11-05

New Zealand has laid out a plan to become a smoke-free country.

As a result of its plan, health leaders believe less than 5% of the country's population will be smoking in 2025.

One objective is to stop children from smoking before they start.

"People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall said Thursday, according to CNN.

The plan lays out various other strategies to help quit smoking and reduce their reliance on nicotine.

The country plans to force manufacturers to reduce "nicotine levels in smoked tobacco products to help people who smoke quit smoking and help people, especially young people, to never become addicted."

CNN reports that 13.4% of New Zealand's adult population is considered a smoker, which is down from 18% about a decade ago.

“Smoking rates continue to head in the right direction but there is a lot more mahi ahead of us," the government said. "Smoking kills approximately 4,500 to 5,000 people every year in New Zealand – that is around 12 to 13 deaths every day due to smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoked tobacco products take too many lives, and the impacts disproportionately affect Māori and Pacific people,” says Population Health and Prevention Group Manager Jane Chambers.