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New Zealand Bans Anyone Born After Jan 1 ,2009 From Buying Cigarettes

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new Zealand Cigarette ban

On Tuesday, New Zealand passed legislation to phase out tobacco smoking by prohibiting young people from purchasing cigarettes for the rest of their lives.

Tobacco cannot be sold to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009, according to the law.

It means that the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes will continue to rise. In theory, someone trying to buy a pack of cigarettes in 50 years would need to show ID proving they were at least 63 years old.

However, health officials hope that smoking will be phased out much sooner. They have stated that they want New Zealand to be smoke-free by 2025.

The new law also reduces the number of retailers permitted to sell tobacco from approximately 6,000 to 600, as well as the amount of nicotine permitted in smoked tobacco.

“There is no good reason to allow a product to be sold that kills half the people who use it,” Dr. Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister of Health, told lawmakers in Parliament. “And I can assure you that we will put an end to this as soon as we pass this legislation.”

She claimed that not having to treat smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and amputations would save the health-care system billions of dollars. She stated that the bill would effect generational change and leave a legacy of improved youth health.

The legislation was passed 76 to 43 by lawmakers voting along party lines.

The libertarian ACT party, which opposed the bill, claimed that many small corner stores, known as dairies in New Zealand, would close because they would no longer be able to sell cigarettes.

“We oppose this bill because it’s a bad bill and bad policy, plain and simple,” said Brooke van Velden, deputy leader of the ACT. “There will be no better results for New Zealanders.”

She claimed that the gradual ban amounted to “nanny-state prohibition,” which would result in a large black market. She claimed that prohibition never worked and always had unintended consequences.

The law does not apply to vaping, which has already surpassed smoking in popularity in New Zealand.

According to Statistics New Zealand, 8% of New Zealand adults smoke daily, down from 16% ten years ago. In the meantime, 8.3% of adults vaped on a daily basis, up from less than 1% six years ago.

Smoking rates among Indigenous Mor continue to be higher, with approximately 20% reporting that they smoked.

New Zealand already restricts cigarette sales to those over the age of 18, requires graphic health warnings on tobacco packs, and cigarettes to be sold in standardized packs.

In recent years, New Zealand has also imposed a series of significant tax increases on cigarettes.

Several health organizations applauded the law change. According to the Health Coalition Aotearoa, the new law is the culmination of decades of hard-fought advocacy by health and community organizations.

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New Zealand PM Calls Opposition MP an “Arrogant Prick”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was caught on camera on Tuesday using a vulgarity against a rival politician, a rare blunder for a leader known for her ability to debate and respond calmly and measuredly.

Ardern faces a difficult election campaign in 2023 after serving as Prime Minister for five years. Her liberal Labour Party was re-elected in a historic landslide two years ago, but recent polls have placed her party behind its conservative opponents.

The remark came after David Seymour, the leader of the libertarian ACT party, peppered Ardern with questions about her government’s record during Parliament’s Question Time, which allows for spirited debate between opposing parties.

After sitting down, Ardern said something to her deputy Grant Robertson that sounded like, “He’s such an arrogant prick.” Her words are barely audible on Parliament TV, but her desk microphone picks them up in the background as House Speaker Adrian Rurawhe speaks.

Ardern’s office stated that she apologized to Seymour for the remark. When contacted by The Associated Press, Ardern’s office declined to comment. Seymour admitted to using those words in an interview with the Associated Press.

“I’m completely astounded and shocked by her use of language,” Seymour said. “It’s completely out of character for Jacinda, and I’ve known her for 11 years.”

It was also ironic, he said, because his question to the prime minister had been about whether she had ever admitted a mistake as leader and then corrected it. “And she couldn’t think of a single instance where she admitted she was wrong and apologized,” Seymour said.

According to Seymour, Ardern wrote in her text that she “apologized, she shouldn’t have made the comments, and that, as her mother said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.”

Seymour, who said he admired some of Ardern’s political skills, said he’d written back to thank her for the apology and wish her a Merry Christmas.

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