Smokers might need to travel to the next town to buy a pack of ciggies by 2022, if the Government accepts drastic recommendations made by a group of health experts. …
One of the five key strategies is to cap the number of tobacco retailers at 300. New Zealand has more than 550 officially recognised towns and cities, so the recommendation would mean many population centres would miss out. …
Another strategy would see the current purchasing age of 18 increased gradually every year, starting from December 2022.
All well intentioned but also likely to increase harm from smoking.
Basically they are proposing prohibition. Don’t yet anyone born after 2004 every legally buy cigarettes and make it almost impossible to find a retailer.
But prohibition rarely works. Cannabis is illegal yet almost half of New Zealand have tried it – a far greater percentage than who have tried smoking.
The black market in tobacco in NZ is already growing, due to the increased excise tax. Every week there is a robbery of a dairy for tobacco.
These policy proposals will fuel the black market and turn tobacco into a lucrative income source for gangs.