New Zealand will legally ban the sale of tobacco to younger generations
New Zealand will ban the sale of tobacco to its next generation, in a bid to eventually give up the habit.
All those born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products, under a law expected to be passed next year.
"We want to make sure young people do not start smoking," said Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verall.
The move is part of a sweeping anti-smoking crackdown announced by the New Zealand health ministry on Thursday.
Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed "world-leading" reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and limit nicotine levels in cigarettes.
"It will help people give up or switch to less harmful products and and there is very little chance that young people will become addicted to nicotine," said Professor Janet Hook of the University of Otago.
New Zealand is determined to achieve a national target to reduce its national smoking rate to 5% by 2025, with the aim of finally eliminating it.
Currently, about 13% of adults in New Zealand smoke, up from 18% about a decade ago.
The number of stores authorized to sell cigarettes will be drastically reduced to 500 from about 8,000 now, officials say.