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New Zealand To Repeal Landmark Tobacco Sales Ban Despite Concerns Of Potential Health Risks

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New Zealand

(CTN News) – New Zealand is set to overturn a groundbreaking law, deemed the toughest anti-tobacco legislation globally, which had aimed to prohibit tobacco sales for future generations.

Despite scheduled to be implemented in July, the law would have restricted sales to individuals born after January 1, 2009, mandated a significant reduction in nicotine levels in smoked tobacco products, and led to a drastic reduction of over 90% in tobacco retailers.

The decision to repeal this pioneering law was confirmed by the newly elected coalition government in October. The repeal, scheduled for Tuesday, is being executed urgently, bypassing the need for public input, aligning with previous government announcements.

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Associate Health Minister Casey Costello emphasized the government’s dedication to reducing smoking but highlighted a shift in regulatory strategy to discourage the habit and mitigate associated harm.

Costello outlined forthcoming measures to be presented to the cabinet, intending to broaden the toolkit available to aid smoking cessation. In addition, there are plans to tighten regulations on vaping to discourage its uptake among young people.

Controversial Repeal: Impact on Public Health and Health Disparities

This decision, criticized for its potential adverse impact on public health in New Zealand, has faced opposition due to concerns about exacerbating health disparities, particularly among Maori and Pasifika communities with higher smoking rates.

Janet Hoek, a researcher from Otago University, condemned the repeal, asserting that it contradicts robust research evidence.

She argued that the legislation, backed by Maori leaders, would have swiftly increased quitting rates among smokers and created barriers for young individuals attempting to start smoking, as indicated by large-scale clinical trials and modeling studies.

Despite these criticisms, the government remains resolute in its decision to abandon the ambitious anti-tobacco law, sparking ongoing debates about the potential repercussions for public health and disparities among different population groups.


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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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