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World News February 28, 2024

New Zealand set to scrap world-first tobacco ban

New Zealand will repeal the world’s first law banning tobacco sales for future generations, effective from July. The law, aimed at the toughest anti-tobacco rules globally, would have prohibited sales to those born after January 1, 2009, and implemented measures like reducing nicotine content and decreasing tobacco retailers by over 90%. The new coalition government elected in October confirmed the repeal, citing a different regulatory approach to discourage smoking. Critics express concerns over potential health risks, particularly for Maori and Pasifika populations with higher smoking rates. The decision is criticized for disregarding research supporting the legislation’s efficacy in increasing quitting rates and preventing youth smoking. The government plans to introduce alternative measures to address smoking and tighten regulations on vaping.

Source – CGTN

Photo Credit – Reuters

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