16 votes

New Zealand to ban cigarettes for future generations

21 comments

  1. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    It's always interesting to see what stuff countries with functional governments can implement in the interest of public health. I hope the ban is successful though. Smoking and its health effects...

    It's always interesting to see what stuff countries with functional governments can implement in the interest of public health. I hope the ban is successful though. Smoking and its health effects are a drain on society similar to obesity and fast food.

    I also don't think being supportive of a ban like this is at odds with otherwise supporting the decriminalization of other substances or harm reduction. Tobacco products like cigarettes are a "slow poison" compared to something like heroin and it makes sense to me that they might need stricter regulation, hence the ban.

    Interesting stuff. Can't wait to see how it works out for them over the next... decades.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Why would it be? Decriminalizing drugs doesn't mean we want them sold at every corner store. And I doubt that a young person in NZ would end up in prison over tobacco once it's banned.

      I also don't think being supportive of a ban like this is at odds with otherwise supporting the decriminalization of other substances or harm reduction.

      Why would it be? Decriminalizing drugs doesn't mean we want them sold at every corner store. And I doubt that a young person in NZ would end up in prison over tobacco once it's banned.

      2 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        🤷‍♂️ that was just a take I'd seen elsewhere online

        🤷‍♂️ that was just a take I'd seen elsewhere online

        1 vote
  2. [9]
    suspended
    Link
    Won't this create a black market for tobacco?

    Won't this create a black market for tobacco?

    3 votes
    1. mat
      Link Parent
      Might do. Might not. Worth finding out, don't you think? It seems like a slightly weird market to exist. I mean sure, for weed. But weed is fun. It's worth taking a risk and paying over the odds...

      Might do. Might not. Worth finding out, don't you think?

      It seems like a slightly weird market to exist. I mean sure, for weed. But weed is fun. It's worth taking a risk and paying over the odds for. But tobacco is just... nasty. Even when I smoked that was abundantly clear. Nobody who smokes any amount can be under any illusion that it's not bad for them. Almost everything about smoking is unpleasant, and the one half-decent bit - nicotine - can be easily had from a vape which is easily available.

      Anecdotally I feel like the Kids These Days are much better about knowing how bad smoking is and not being all that interested in it. I live near a high school and the number of kids I see walking home and smoking is so small compared to how it was when I was their age. Obviously people still smoke. But maybe fewer of them now.

      8 votes
    2. JCPhoenix
      Link Parent
      Yup, they even mention it in the article: I'm all for harm reduction, but people will do what people want to do. Lots of smokers start young, before they can buy cigarettes. So that first and even...

      Yup, they even mention it in the article:

      However, others have warned that the move may create a black market for tobacco - something the health ministry's official impact statement does acknowledge, noting "customs will need more resource to enforce border control".

      I'm all for harm reduction, but people will do what people want to do. Lots of smokers start young, before they can buy cigarettes. So that first and even second generations of can't-smokers will still have access to cigarettes. And even once sales stop because all the can-smokers are dead, it's not like tobacco doesn't exist outside. Being an island nation certainly helps with keeping it off the islands, but smuggling isn't ever impossible.

      That said, I did find this refreshing:

      But in 2017 the country adopted vaping as a pathway to help smokers quit tobacco.

      Though they admit that vaping isn't 100% safe either.

      3 votes
    3. [4]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      Hi suspended, I genuinely struggle to understand this concern. Is there a black market to sell alcohol to those legally underage? Because for the next 40-80 years, the sale of nicotine will still...

      Hi suspended, I genuinely struggle to understand this concern.

      Is there a black market to sell alcohol to those legally underage?

      Because for the next 40-80 years, the sale of nicotine will still be legal in New Zealand, it's just the definition of underage that changes.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        mtset
        Link Parent
        There absolutely was at my college. It wasn't a huge deal because alcohol was easy to obtain, but the people with 21+ IDs (real or fake) and cars could absolutely put some pressure on others,...

        Is there a black market to sell alcohol to those legally underage?

        There absolutely was at my college. It wasn't a huge deal because alcohol was easy to obtain, but the people with 21+ IDs (real or fake) and cars could absolutely put some pressure on others, because they controlled the supply of alcohol for house parties and that, in turn, affected club recruitment and funding.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          HotPants
          Link Parent
          I grew up in New Zealand. The same problem existed, but in high school. It's not a reason against having age limits. Also, the black market for underage alcohol is different from the black market...

          I grew up in New Zealand. The same problem existed, but in high school. It's not a reason against having age limits.

          Also, the black market for underage alcohol is different from the black market for other drugs, in terms of funding gangs.

          4 votes
          1. mtset
            Link Parent
            Yep, agreed. You asked: and that's what I was responding to. The answer is, "yes."

            Also, the black market for underage alcohol is different from the black market for other drugs, in terms of funding gangs.

            Yep, agreed. You asked:

            Is there a black market to sell alcohol to those legally underage?

            and that's what I was responding to. The answer is, "yes."

            2 votes
    4. MetArtScroll
      Link Parent
      Exactly. They should learn from the failed prohibition of alcohol in the US some 100 years ago. I even saw opinions stating that nothing helped organised crime in the US more than that ill-fated...

      Exactly. They should learn from the failed prohibition of alcohol in the US some 100 years ago.

      I even saw opinions stating that nothing helped organised crime in the US more than that ill-fated prohibition.

      1 vote
    5. cloud_loud
      Link Parent
      Probably. Probation is never a good idea.

      Probably. Probation is never a good idea.

  3. [5]
    Thra11
    Link
    While I'm in favour of measures to reduce smoking, this might be cause for concern: If the restrictions are brought in at a rate based on the general population's progress in quitting, then they...

    While I'm in favour of measures to reduce smoking, this might be cause for concern:

    At the moment, 13% of New Zealand's adults smoke, with the rate much higher among the indigenous Maori population, where it soars to almost a third. Maori also suffer a higher rate of disease and death.

    If the restrictions are brought in at a rate based on the general population's progress in quitting, then they might end up punishing Maori and Pasifika people rather than helping them to quit.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      The restrictions have nothing to do with anything but your age.

      Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime

      The restrictions have nothing to do with anything but your age.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        mtset
        Link Parent
        Equality of consideration isn't sufficient to ensure equality of outcomes.

        Equality of consideration isn't sufficient to ensure equality of outcomes.

        1 vote
        1. HotPants
          Link Parent
          But that is the point, isn't it? Maori health is impacted by smoking more heavily already. Doing nothing is already bad. Increasing tobacco taxes just ended up punishing the Maori...

          But that is the point, isn't it?

          Maori health is impacted by smoking more heavily already. Doing nothing is already bad.

          Increasing tobacco taxes just ended up punishing the Maori disproportionately. They just spent more money on smokes.

          The new law attempts to discourage anyone born after 2008 getting addicted to nicotine.

          It will likely adversely impact Maori disproportionately, in that they are more likely to be able to get cigarettes from their mums purse. But all other choices also impact Maori disproportionately, including doing nothing.

          From an equality perspective, wont this law also impact those better off, such as those who head overseas for a few years?

          10 votes
    2. Rez
      Link Parent
      What sort of punishments do you imagine? Or do you just mean the restrictions like shop closures possibly hitting them first? That's the downside of this kind of liberal paternalism - it demands...

      What sort of punishments do you imagine? Or do you just mean the restrictions like shop closures possibly hitting them first? That's the downside of this kind of liberal paternalism - it demands the poor change their habits and lifestyles, and changes that affect the poor will disproportionately affect ethnic minorities. But the habit change, if successful, would disproportionately benefit them.

      Doing what you can to make sure a person never starts the habit is much easier than trying to get people to quit, so there's a judgment call to be made on how much you want to enable current smokers (without being overly paternalistic/coercive), without also compromising the health of future generations. There's a needle to thread but inevitable you'll hurt one side or the other - if your restrictions are too weak so as to accommodate current smokers, you're giving the latest generation the chance to pick up the habit and continue the cycle. You'll never be able to get everyone to quit the habit, which is why it's so important to make sure the habit never starts.

      On the face of it, New Zealand's approach seems like a good way to try to thread that needle. There'll never be a perfect policy.

      1 vote
  4. [4]
    JXM
    Link
    As this article mentions, vaping is much more of a problem than cigarettes with younger generations. This article doesn't seem to mention one or another if vaping products are included in the...

    As this article mentions, vaping is much more of a problem than cigarettes with younger generations. This article doesn't seem to mention one or another if vaping products are included in the tobacco ban or not.

    1. [3]
      Thra11
      Link Parent
      Alternative source says

      Alternative source says

      The new laws will not restrict vape sales.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        Yikes. That's even worse than I thought. They should go after those products just as aggressively.

        Smoking has already been widely replaced by vaping among teenage New Zealanders, and is also attracting many young people who would never have taken up smoking – according to surveying of 19,000 high school students this year, nearly 20% were vaping daily or several times a day, the majority with high nicotine doses. That’s compared to 3% of those aged 15-17 who smoked daily in 2018, or 13% who smoked a decade earlier.

        Yikes. That's even worse than I thought. They should go after those products just as aggressively.

        5 votes
        1. Tum
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'm unsure how to feel about this. If all the harmful byproducts of Vaping are removed, would we as a society be happy to have an addictive substance which is physically harmless available for...

          I'm unsure how to feel about this. If all the harmful byproducts of Vaping are removed, would we as a society be happy to have an addictive substance which is physically harmless available for consumption? Could it become as accepted as caffeine? What if it were only available in slow release form or some way to minimise withdrawal?

          On the face of it, I don't like the idea of having a highly addictive (and therefore dependence inducing) substance available for sale - even if there are no health side effects other than the addiction itself. But what if the addictive properties were able to be moderated while keeping the stimulant and anxiolytic effects?

          2 votes