New Zealand is the first country in the world to impose a total ban on smoking on its population. A law presented to parliament is due to come into force in 2022.
Without wishing to reproduce the mistakes and failures of historical bans, such as that on alcohol in the United States in 1919, which was too sudden, the New Zealand government has devised a system that is intended to be gradual. The first step was the anonymisation of cigarette packets, which began in 2011; the second step was to gradually increase the price of tobacco (the price of a packet of cigarettes costs about 18 euros, one of the highest prices in the world); the third and final step was to move to a total ban on tobacco in New Zealand.
The law has found a particular way of imposing this: from 2023 onwards, minors under the age of 15 will be banned from buying tobacco, and for life! In concrete terms, tobacco can never again be sold to all New Zealanders born after 2008. The law aims to encourage young people not to start smoking. It remains to avoid an explosion in smuggling: today in New Zealand, it is estimated that one cigarette in 10 is smuggled.
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