New Zealand Weighs Tobacco Ban for Youth—and Beyond

New Zealand’s new plan to end smoking aims to keep tobacco out of reach for young people—for most of their lives.

Under a first-of-its-kind law that the government announced Thursday and plans to pass next year, the minimum age to buy cigarettes for those 14 and younger would keep rising year after year.

In theory, that means 65 years after the law takes effect, only 80-year-olds could buy cigarettes. 

Because the current minimum age to buy cigarettes in New Zealand is 18, the lifetime smoking ban for youth wouldn’t have an impact for a few years. Currently about 11% of New Zealand adults smoke.


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