New Zealand Govt Reverses Tobacco Ban for Tax Relief, Law Set to Expire in 2022

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Controversial Move Sparks Criticism from Health Experts as New Zealand Decides to Lift Tobacco and Cigarette Ban Enacted in 2022

New Zealand Govt Lift Tobacco Ban News

New Zealand Govt Lift Tobacco Ban News: In a surprising development, the newly elected government of New Zealand has announced its decision to lift the ban on tobacco and cigarettes, citing the move as a means to provide tax relief to the public. The decision comes in contrast to the Smoke Free Environment Act passed in December 2022, which aimed to curb smoking habits, particularly among those born after 2008.

The repeal of the law banning tobacco and cigarettes has stirred controversy, with health experts, including the New Zealand Doctors Association, expressing shock and disappointment. Professor Richard Edwards of Otago University remarked, "This is a step taking the country backward," emphasizing concerns about the potential health implications.

The Smoke Free Environment Act, introduced by then Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, was initially hailed as a significant step towards a 'smoke-free future.' Verrall had highlighted the expected benefits, projecting savings of Rs 26,400 crore (3.2 US billion dollars) for the health system and improved overall public health.

The law aimed to decrease the percentage of daily smokers in New Zealand by 5%, with the hope that every passing year would witness a decline in the number of people purchasing tobacco products.

Critics argue that the reversal of the tobacco ban contradicts the initial goal of creating a healthier, smoke-free nation. The move is seen as a departure from the government's commitment to reducing smoking-related diseases and improving overall well-being. Comparisons to India's stringent regulations, including the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) enacted in 2003, highlight the global effort to control tobacco consumption. India's laws include restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising tobacco products, and selling tobacco to individuals under 18 years of age.

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