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New Zealand to Phase Out Smoking, Imposes Lifetime Ban for Those 14 and Younger

New Zealand became the first country in the world to effectively ban smoking this week.

They announced new rules that would gradually raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and impose lifetime restrictions for those 14 and younger.

“Under a new law the government announced Thursday and plans to pass next year, the minimum age to buy cigarettes would keep rising year after year. That means, in theory at least, 65 years after the law takes effect, shoppers could still buy cigarettes – but only if they could prove they were at least 80 years old,” reports Fox News.

“In practice, officials hope smoking will fade away decades before then. Indeed, the plan sets a goal of having fewer than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025. Other parts of the plan include allowing only the sale of tobacco products with very low nicotine levels and slashing the number of stores that can sell them. The changes would be brought in over time to help retailers adjust,” adds the news outlet.

“You meet, every day, someone facing the misery caused by tobacco,” said New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister. “The most horrible ways people die. Being short of breath, caused by tobacco.”

Read the full report here.

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