New Zealand has introduced a steadily rising smoking age to stop those aged 14 and under from ever being able to legally buy cigarettes in world-first legislation to outlaw smoking for the next generation.
Associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said at the law’s passing on Tuesday: “Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5bn better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations.”
New Zealand is believed to be the first country in the world to implement the annually rising smoking age, ensuring tobacco cannot be sold to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.
It will be accompanied by a slew of other measures to make smoking less affordable and accessible, including dramatically reducing the legal amount of nicotine in tobacco products and forcing them to be sold only through specialty tobacco stores, rather than corner stores and supermarkets.
Oh, I don’t know - maybe traffic lights, fire hydrants, periodic checking of jet engines - all nanny stuff. Is there any upside to kids smoking? There are huge life-long downsides, both to the individual, their friends/family and society as a whole. The only two groups I can think of who would be harmed are the farmers who chose to grow tobacco and the stockholders of tabaco company shares (and I guess the portion of the medical field involved in cancer, etc. caused by smoking related health issues).
The tax revenue states pocket from the sales. Why is recreational pot legal in Michigan? Tax revenue. Why are the lottery, casino gambling and on-line gambling legal in Michigan? Tax revenue. The (L&Ses) dismiss the implications of encouraging gambling and unhealthy habits by assuring “We The People” that the tax revenue goes to education…of course, the (L&Ses) always play a shell game: gambling revenue goes into education/money from general revenue comes out of education.
Steve, I am the wrong addressee. I didn’t take a stance, I just pointed out a misunderstanding regarding the law.
I didn’t take a stance as with all those simplified discussions about in truth complex themes this one too doesn’t do justice to the complexity.
For example it’s not simply about freedom and free will (to harm oneself) versus restricting the same freedom in the name of (over)protecting (oneself & society) when it is about addictive substances which BY DEFINITION limit free will.
That leads to complex questions like: Is there free will (to smoke or not) when your body and/or mind are heavily addicted? Some say “No, when REALLY addicted you have no more choice”, others “Yes, you ALWAYS can decide to stop”. I doubt there can ever be agreement over questions like that.
We all know how bad cigarettes are for our health, no one can argue with this fact. It still seems a bit too much for me to actually have a law like this one. If this is the way they want to go, they could ensure that cigarettes cannot be sold to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 until they turn 25 or even 30. Moving the age limit would make a difference in my opinion and I doubt it would cause debates of this type.
I would severeiy tax cigarettes to pay the increased healthcare cost of cigarette smokers as well as the external costs of manufacturing pollution and cigarette stub pollution. Set the tax at $10 per pack, inflation adjusted.
A number of states are on their way to $10/pack today. Here’s a list. Interesting to see that there are a number of states (mainly down south) that are a fraction of the tax of more tax friendly / progressive states.
'38Packard ==> former Marlboro smoker for 40 years
Whether it is in the general fund or earmarked for healthcare, we in CT have cigs at $10 or $12 per pack. The money offsets the cost of taking care of the dying cigarette smokers. The ACA told states if you tax hospitals you get that money back from the federal government to fund healthcare. I did not explain that in detail, I get that. It is kind of a matching program. The mix of the two taxes make healthcare in CT easier to fund. We make a profit off of dying cigarette smokers. I think it was around $0.35 per pack about 7 years ago. I am not sure if CT cigarette pack prices have risen yet towards $12.
Did not intend to assign that comment to you. I did not see it upthread, so quoted it from your post.
That being said: addressing the issue of “personal freedom”, the vast majority of people are born not addicted to tobacco, not addicted to alcohol, not addicted to dope, not addicted to gambling. Those are learned behaviors, and they all have consequences for the general public. As a wise man once said “your right to swing your arm ends at my nose”.
Interestingly, the one behavior that is biologically motivated is…let’s say “rumpypumpy”, and selling that is illegal everywhere in Shiny-land, except Nevada. Of course, there is no big supply chain for that endeavor, that a profit can be made from. Everyone is born with the required resources, and can be an “entrepreneur”.
We don’t have any standard for the very thing that causes, or exacerbates, the VAST majority of healthcare ailments. Not only do we not have any standard, but we sometimes seem to be pushed into affirming the bad behavior that leads to those ailments!
In which case, perhaps this law doesn’t go far enough. The woman who took care of me while Mom went to college smoked incessantly. Little was understood about second hand smoke back then, but the result was when I smoked my first cigarette at 17 I drew in deep and held it, loving the rush. Quickly took to non-filtered cigs. Was like finally getting a good breath of air. Was it really my choice to start?
forced to quit 2 years later but decades later still occasionally appreciates standing next to someone smoking and will draw in as much second hand smoke as possible for a breath or two, followed by walking far, far away…