June 14, 2024

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New Zealand Government Plans to Repeal Strict Smoking Ban

New Zealand Government Plans to Repeal Strict Smoking Ban

New Zealand Government Plans to Repeal Strict Smoking Ban

The newly sworn-in New Zealand government announced on Monday its intention to repeal the previously planned, strict smoking ban scheduled for implementation next year, sparking opposition from various quarters.

The ban, proposed by the previous New Zealand government, aimed to prohibit the sale of cigarettes to citizens born after January 1, 2009, with the goal of creating a smoke-free nation.

However, in light of serious tax revenue shortages, the current New Zealand government has decided to scrap the proposed law.

New Zealand Government Plans to Repeal Strict Smoking Ban

In the parliamentary elections in October, the National Party secured 38% of the votes to become the new ruling party.

However, as they did not win a majority of seats, they needed to form a coalition government with other parties. To secure the support of the populist-leaning governing ally, the New Zealand First Party, the National Party agreed to support tax reduction measures proposed by the latter.

As a result, they decided to repeal the smoking ban and offset the revenue loss from tax reductions through tobacco industry taxes. The new Finance Minister, Willis, announced on the 25th that the government would repeal the smoking ban before March next year.

The repeal of this law still requires parliamentary approval to be implemented. The newly appointed Prime Minister, Lucson, believes that the smoking ban would lead to the emergence of a black market for tobacco.

In December of last year, New Zealand passed the world’s first lifetime tobacco ban for the younger generation, prohibiting citizens born after January 1, 2009, from purchasing cigarettes.

This measure is set to take effect in July 2024. However, since the New Zealand First Party rejected proposals to restart foreign investment in the real estate market, the National Party had to find alternative methods to achieve tax reductions. By repealing the smoking ban, the authorities can generate an additional $1 billion in annual revenue.

Health experts criticize this move as a step backward. It is estimated that a smoke-free policy could save approximately NZD 1.3 billion for New Zealand’s healthcare system over the next 20 years, potentially saving up to 5,000 lives annually.

Anti-smoking organizations criticize that the profits of the tobacco industry will ultimately come at the cost of the lives of New Zealanders.

New Zealand Government Plans to Repeal Strict Smoking Ban

(source:internet, reference only)

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