New Zealand plans to end the world’s first tobacco ban

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New Zealand plans to end the world's first tobacco ban

The world’s first rule banning tobacco sales to minors will be removed in New Zealand on Tuesday, the government announced, despite warnings from campaigners and researchers about the possibility of fatalities.

The world’s strongest anti-tobacco rules, which were expected to go into effect in July, would have lowered the amount of nicotine in smoked tobacco products, banned sales to anyone born after January 1, 2009, and removed more than 90% of tobacco merchants.

The October election of a new coalition government allowed it to proceed with previously declared plans to repeal the law immediately, as revealed on Tuesday. This allowed them to do so without first soliciting public input.

While the coalition government was using a different regulatory strategy to discourage smoking and lessen its harmful effects, Associate Health Minister Casey Costello stated that the government was committed to eliminating smoking.

Costello declared, “I will shortly be taking a package of measures to cabinet to increase the tools available to help people quit smoking.” To discourage youth, he also indicated that vaping laws would be tightened.

Fears that the judgment may have a stronger effect on the higher-smoking Maori and Pasifika populations have contributed to the decision’s criticism, which has been directed mostly at its anticipated impact on health outcomes in New Zealand.

According to Otago University researcher Janet Hoek, repeal will maintain health inequities, runs counter to substantial research data, and disregards policies that Maori leaders have fiercely endorsed.

According to Hoek, co-director of a team researching smoking cessation strategies, “Large-scale clinical trials and modelling studies show the legislation would have rapidly increased the rates of quitting among smokers and made it much harder for young people to take up smoking.”

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