The government in New Zealand underwent a change, and as a result, a significant decision has been made by the new administration. The country has lifted the ban on tobacco and cigarettes, which previously prohibited people born after 2008 from purchasing these products. This decision has sparked shock among the populace, with many health experts criticizing it as a severe blow to public health.
The ban on tobacco sales to those born after 2008 was initially introduced in 2022 during Jacinda Ardern’s tenure as Prime Minister. This ‘Smoke-Free Environment Law’ aimed to prevent young individuals from accessing tobacco-related products, curbing the increasing trend of youth addiction. It also outlined guidelines for the number of retailers permitted to sell tobacco items and specified the nicotine levels in cigarettes.
Following New Zealand’s earlier move, Britain had also announced plans to impose a similar ban, reflecting the global impact of such decisions. The recent reversal by the New Zealand government might influence other countries that were aligning themselves with the anti-tobacco stance.
Christopher Luxon, the newly sworn-in Prime Minister of New Zealand, emphasized his top priority as improving the economy after taking office on Monday. In addition to establishing a coalition government, Luxon pledged tax reductions and the training of over 500 police officers within two years. The decision to repeal the former tobacco-related law was justified as a measure to alleviate tax burdens on the populace.
Jacinda Ardern resigned from her position in early 2023 after serving approximately six years as Prime Minister. Her decision was met with global acclaim, citing that she felt she had exhausted her contributions to the country. The general elections held on October 14 this year resulted in former businessman Christopher emerging as the leader of the largest party and subsequently becoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand.