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Groundbreaking anti-smoking laws advance in Malaysia and New Zealand

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 05 August 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o1967
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The parliaments of Malaysia and New Zealand are on course to pass historic and unprecedented “generational” anti-smoking laws that will ban the sale of tobacco to everyone born after a given date for their entire lives.

Opposition parties in both countries’ legislatures voiced broad support for the idea of a ban on sales to anyone born after 2007 in Malaysia or 2008 in New Zealand. But the Malaysian bill, which the government had hoped to push through parliament in just 10 days, was instead shunted to a committee for an extensive rewrite, after opposition legislators described its enforcement provisions as draconian.

“If we knew what we knew about tobacco 50 years ago, there’s no way we would have allowed it to be sold,” the health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, told parliament when tabling Malaysia’s Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill, often referred to as the generational endgame or GEG. The country of 33 million could prevent two million deaths by 2040 through the proposed law, he said. This assumes a reduction in the …

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