Intended for healthcare professionals


New Zealand’s new government says it will repeal groundbreaking anti-smoking law

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 28 November 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2814
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

New Zealand’s revolutionary anti-smoking law, which drew headlines around the world when it passed last year1 and was widely credited as the inspiration behind the UK’s recently announced smoking bill, will be repealed in its entirety by the incoming coalition government, new prime minister Christopher Luxon has said.

The law would have introduced a generational smoking ban starting next year, barring anyone born after 2008 from ever legally buying cigarettes. Plans for a similar measure were announced by the UK government last month.23

But New Zealand’s law went further, reducing the number of shops allowed to sell cigarettes from about 8000 to 600. It also aimed to dramatically reduce the level of nicotine permitted in cigarettes, making them unsatisfying to addicted smokers.

All of these measures must instead be repealed by March 2024, under the coalition agreement between the conservative National Party, led by Luxon, and the right wing populist New Zealand First party, led by Winston Peters.4 …

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