One of the best news of 2022:
New Zealand will phase in a near-total tobacco ban from next year.
Legislation passed by parliament on Tuesday means that anyone born after 2008 will never be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products.
It will mean the number of people able to buy tobacco will shrink each year. By 2050, for example, 40-year-olds will be too young to buy cigarettes.
Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, who introduced the bill, said it was a step “towards a smoke-free future”.
“Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be NZ$5 billion (US$3.2 billion) better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking,” Dr Verrall said.
The cost of tobacco induced illnesses is listed therein – USD $3.2 billion. While these are “estimates”; the cost of impact on families, employment and social security is immense. These “invisible data points” can’t be captured. While there will be “critics”, public smoking is in slow decline. Vaping is still not affected, and that needs to go. There is no credible scientific evidence that it is “safer” despite the industry funded “research”.
Nicotine is bad in any quantity, and these progressive legislations should become part of the global movement against tobacco. I stand committed to the idea of anti-tobacco movement and investments in preventive healthcare.