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A world-first anti-smoking law that would have made the selling of cigarettes illegal to anyone born after 2008, is about to be scrapped.

The government says it plans to put the law through the government to get it scrapped.

Health experts have shared their disgust at the announcement. Professor Richard Edwards, a tobacco control researcher and public health expert at a local university, said they are disgusted.

“We are appalled and disgusted… This is an incredibly retrograde step on world-leading, absolutely excellent health measures. Most health groups in New Zealand are appalled by what the government’s done and call on them to backtrack.”

The legislation was passed while the former prime minister, Jacinda Arden was still in charge. Several other governments and health organisations acclaimed it.

Research related to the law suggested that up to 5,000 lives could be saved annually.

Because of this law, the UK government announced a similar smoking ban for young people in September. Even though New Zealand reversed the law, a spokeswoman for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said their decision remained unchanged.

Image credit: DW

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