New Zealand’s “post-09”, or a lifetime ban on smoking

  New Zealand is the first country in the world to legislate against smoking for the next generation. The country’s anti-smoking bill proposes that anyone born on or after January 1, 2009 shall not buy any cigarettes or tobacco products, and offenders may be fined up to 150,000 New Zealand dollars (about 600,000 yuan). New Zealand hopes to achieve a smoke-free society.
  If you were born on or after 1 January 2009, you may not be able to buy a pack of cigarettes in New Zealand for the rest of your life. On December 13, 2022 local time, the New Zealand Parliament passed an anti-smoking bill, aiming to gradually realize the nationwide smoke-free.
  The first country in the world to legislate against smoking among the next generation. The health hazards of
  tobacco have become one of the most serious public health problems in the world today. Every year, 8.7 million people die from tobacco-related diseases worldwide, causing a loss of 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars (about 9.8 trillion yuan) to the global economy.
  Smoking rates in New Zealand are now at record lows. In November 2022, data released by the New Zealand government showed that only about 8% of adults in the country smoked every day, a drop of 1.4 percentage points from 9.4% in 2021.
  According to the BBC, on December 13, 2022, New Zealand passed a bill to ban smoking. The bill proposes that anyone born on or after January 1, 2009 shall not buy any cigarettes or tobacco products, and offenders may be fined up to 150,000 New Zealand dollars (about 600,000 yuan). It is reported that the bill will be implemented from 2023.
  New Zealand is the first country in the world to legislate against smoking for the next generation. The country wants to reduce the proportion of adults who smoke daily to less than 5 percent by 2025.
  In the long run, New Zealand hopes to achieve a smoke-free society. In order to achieve this goal, in addition to promulgating the anti-smoking bill, New Zealand will also introduce many measures simultaneously, including significantly reducing the legal content of nicotine in cigarette products, making cigarettes less addictive; by the end of 2023, the sale of Cigarette retailers were reduced from 6,000 to 600. In addition, New Zealand will increase funding for health services and organizations promoting smoking cessation.
  Ayesha Villar, Deputy Minister of Health of New Zealand, said: “The anti-smoking bill has accelerated our progress towards a smoke-free future. Thousands of people will live longer and healthier. Because there is no need to invest in the treatment of those who suffer Diseases caused by smoking, such as various cancers, heart attacks, strokes, amputations, etc., the health system will also save 5 billion New Zealand dollars (about 20 billion yuan).”
  However, New Zealand’s anti-smoking bill does not prohibit Electronic cigarette products. According to the British “Guardian” report, data shows that more and more New Zealanders have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes in recent years. According to statistics, the proportion of New Zealand adults who smoke e-cigarettes every day has reached 8.3%, which is a significant increase from 2021.
  Create a “smoke-free generation”
  After passing the anti-smoking bill, New Zealand has become one of the strictest smoking-free countries in the world. In fact, in addition to New Zealand, there are some countries and regions that have or are promoting similar anti-smoking bills.
  Bhutan passed the national smoking ban law in 2004 and officially implemented it in 2010. It is the first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco. In Bhutan, smoking is prohibited in all public places, and offenders are fined a minimum of 225 US dollars (approximately RMB 1,575), and serious cases may even be sentenced.
  According to the “Guardian” report, in November 2020, Brookline, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, passed legislation to completely ban the sale of cigarettes and e-cigarette products to people born after January 1, 2000, in order to gradually eliminate cigarettes among the younger generation . This bill will take effect in September 2021, and Brookline has become the first district in the United States to implement a smoking ban.
  In 2022, the Danish Ministry of Health also proposed that it hopes to pass legislation to completely ban the sale of cigarettes and any other nicotine products to people born after 2010. At the same time, the health ministries of Malaysia and Singapore also hope to follow New Zealand’s lead and ban the sale of tobacco products to people born in a specific year.
  In my country, more than 1 million people lose their lives due to tobacco every year. Right now, Hong Kong, China is also promoting the “smoke-free generation” plan. According to Hong Kong’s “South China Morning Post”, in November 2022, the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health proposed to ban the sale of tobacco to people born in 2009 and later. Committee chairman Tang Xiuqi said this would help achieve the goal of “ending tobacco”, “we hope that this can be achieved by the end of this government”.
  Build a consensus to build a smoke-free culture Zheng Pinpin, director of the Tobacco Control Research Center of the Institute of
  Health Communication, believes that in addition to the constraints of laws and regulations, smoking control must also shape a smoke-free culture.
  Zheng Rong, director of the WHO Center for Tobacco Control and Economic Policy Cooperation, believes that to create a smoke-free culture, two consensuses must be reached: one is to reach a basic consensus on the health hazards of tobacco use; the other is to avoid smoking in public places. consensus. The good news is that these two consensuses are gradually forming.
  The mass media are also a key part of creating a smoke-free culture. Wang Xiuli, an associate professor at the New Media Research Institute of Peking University, introduced that mass media play an important role in tobacco control actions, including three aspects: first, mass media reports help to promote the setting of health agendas and the introduction of related policies, and contribute to The whole society builds a consensus on tobacco control; secondly, media reports on tobacco control actions help to cultivate social norms and create a smoke-free environment; finally, tobacco control reports help to shape public health beliefs and promote changes in public health behaviors.
  Tobacco control is a very complex long-term systematic project. Among them, the government, as a public policy maker, must continue to improve tobacco control legislation, further increase the proportion of the population covered by comprehensive smoke-free laws, and further improve the quantification and evaluation standards of relevant laws and regulations. Experts and scholars can play an active role in the government’s scientific decision-making and provide strong evidence support for public decision-making related to tobacco control. At the same time, the media and health communication practitioners should pay more attention to tobacco control actions and convey the voice of tobacco control to promote the construction of a smoke-free and healthy culture. For the public, it is necessary to continuously improve the awareness of tobacco control knowledge and smoke-free culture, and actively participate in the social co-governance of tobacco control. In addition, the important role of grassroots communities can also be brought into play to take the road of tobacco control.