New Zealand has announced that it will prohibit young people from purchasing cigarettes for the rest of their lives, one of the toughest measures in the world to reduce smoking-related deaths. According to the World Economic Forum, the nation also prohibits sales to anybody under the age of 18, but it claims that these steps are insufficient to achieve the target of a national adult smoking rate of less than 5% by 2025.

According to New Zealand health officials, smokers often start when they are young, with four out of five New Zealanders smoking by the age of 18 and 96% by the age of 25. They want to prevent roughly 5,000 unnecessary deaths per year by preventing a generation from starting to smoke. The government says it intends to ease in the reforms to reduce the economic impact on businesses and give those with mental health concerns – who smoke at much greater rates – time to adjust.


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