Against smoking, do we need more radical measures?

Through its Smokefree 2025 plan, unveiled on December 9, New Zealand aims to soon have less than 5% smokers, and above all to create entire generations of non-smokers. But the methods to achieve this divide.

YESThis is the most promising option

– Stuff Wellington –

The past is like a foreign country where the rules of the game are different. people who watched Get Back, Peter Jackson’s fascinating documentary series about the Beatles, will have seen a strange warning appear on their screen. “This film features people making explicit statements, has adult themes, and smokers can be seen in it.. It is intended for an informed public.”

Another message warns that the series does not only have bad language, but also “smoking scenes”. Peter Jackson had to convince Disney not to cut the rude comments. The band also agreed that images of cigarettes and cigars could appear in a rock movie, so the Beatles can be seen taking a few puffs.

A pioneering country in the fight against smoking?

The fact that such a warning is now perfectly normal when it would have elicited gasps of surprise from onlookers only ten years ago shows how quickly opinion changes on the issue of tobacco. There was a time when we worried about sex scenes and guns. Today, we are concerned about cigarettes.

Other clues bear witness to the overwhelming victory of the opponents of tobacco. Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall’s Smokefree Bill 2025 could make New Zealand a pioneer in tobacco control. And it arouses little controversy.

Everyone seems to agree that smoking has to go. Tobacco still kills between 4,500 and 5,000 people each year in New Zealand. The only debate concerns how to eradicate its consumption as quickly as possible.

Verrall’s plan proposes several ambitious measures. The number of businesses authorized to sell tobacco will have to be reduced from 5,000-8,000 at present to only one tenth of this figure. A stricter regulation of the market is a good approach, preferable in any case to an outright ban. The 500 authorized shops will sell products with a low nicotine content in order to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco. If some smokers decide to quit or switch to vaping, others may be encouraged to smoke more or illegally seek out higher-dose products.

Prevent new generations from buying tobacco

The third axis of this new strategy is the boldest. The government is concerned about smoking among teenagers, especially Maori, who smoke five times as much as non-Maori students. Raising the minimum legal age to buy tobacco – 25 – seems like a no-brainer. As the government plan points out, “the brain is fully developed by age 25 and individuals have been shown to be less likely to start smoking after


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