Ottawa Public Health urges tough anti-smoking policy that New Zealand is scrapping – CBC

Proposal would ban anyone born after 2008 from ever buying cigarettes

Nov 29, 2023

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is calling on the federal government to follow the example of New Zealand’s “smoke-free generation” law, which sought to ban cigarette sales to anyone born after 2008 for their entire lifetime.

Even though the New Zealand policy is now at risk due to a new government’s plans to abandon it, OPH recommended Health Canada adopt a “similar approach” as it reviews the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act.

According to OPH, current restrictions are not sufficient to protect young people from addiction. It also pushed for a federal minimum age of 21 to buy tobacco, nicotine and vaping products.

An Ottawa doctor specializing in smoking cessation called the generational ban “an exceptionally good idea,” but an expert in drug and alcohol policy warned it would repeat failed experiments in prohibition that only benefit the black market.

Last year, then-prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s government passed legislation to gradually raise the smoking age to prevent anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2009 from ever being able to buy cigarettes legally in New Zealand. The ban was set to come into effect in 2027.

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