New Zealand aiming to be "smoke free" by 2025

Originally published at: New Zealand aiming to be "smoke free" by 2025 | Boing Boing


I particularly like the price increase. Research has shown that tobacco demand is inflexible with respect to price for adult smokers, but teenagers smoke less as the price goes up.


My recollection of New Zealand was that cigarettes are already so expensive that most young smokers roll their own presumably because loose tobacco is not taxed as much. Or maybe it was just the black market already caused by the high cig prices.

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Aiming towards full prohibition is a mistake. Every single other attempt at prohibition has resulted in a black market controlled by violent criminals and an increase in harms.

At this point, tobacco smoking is best left to die out naturally, as a combination of high taxation, vaping and health programmes to get people to quit has put the practice into a terminal decline. If the end result is making tobacco a marginal product only used by a tiny minority, rather than eliminating it entirely, then we’re just going to have to live with that.


Got to be the foulest disgusting habit any human can take up.


As someone who grew up in the home of two smokers, one of whom died of lung cancer, I agree. I had tons of friends who smoked, but never wanted to do so myself.

Plus, let’s put tobacco in the larger context of settler colonialism in the US, where that was one of the first big successes of Jamestown, and in the upper south continued to be a big part of the economy into the antebellum period, so was associated with slavery nearly as much as cotton.

This is absolutely true, of course.

I do think coupling it with gradually making it more difficult to get, might eventually work.


Same here, Mom died at 48 of lung cancer, Dad died 50 of TB and he was a smoker too. Astonishing that humans don’t put the math together that cancer sticks will kill you…


Well, often, they’re aware… it’s just that they are really addictive. My mom has tried to stop numerous times, and no luck.


I tend to agree. The key goal has been to get a majority of young people to reject smoking, and Decades of efforts that come up just short of prohibition (e.g. higher prices, bans in common spaces, generic packaging, warning labels, advertising bans, etc.) have done just that.

Most young people in N. America (not sure how it is in NZ) now regard smoking as a rude and inconsiderate habit practiced by ignorant “old losers” and weak-willed addicts – the opposite of cool and edgy. Full prohibition could reverse that with the allure of the forbidden.

Also worth noting the central role that Big Tobacco played in establishing the toxic culture of corporate and political disinformation that now afflicts us. Climate-change denialists, Brexiteers, and the GOP are all working directly from the playbook written by Edward Bernays for the cancer stick industry. It’s one of several reasons that tobacco tops my “Most Evil Industries in History” list.


On another note… New Zealand is also putting corks in all their volcanoes…

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As opposed to their smoking habit, I think it’s going to be very difficult to get rid of New Zealand’s smoking hobbit…

the hobbit elise GIF


Not even that. Tobacco is still the 4th biggest cash crop here in NC. :grimacing:


Sure, but my point was tying it to the longer history of colonialism, slavery, and systemic racism. But yeah, absolutely, it’s still a large part of the NC economy for sure.


Smoking is far less disgusting than it’s cousin chewing.


Drinking from the wrong can is still equally disgusting for either vice, though.


Oh Damn, saw that happen at teenage parties often, very yucky.




Some argue that the lack of tobacco sales would bankrupt shop owners

I love it when people say stuff like this without any evidence. Show me any shopkeeper whose revenue, minus tobacco revenue, is so paltry they start losing money, let alone have to declare bankruptcy!


There’s a guided tour.


I find it slightly ironic that in a community that is in favour of the deregulation and legalization of other drugs, there’s such a clamor for making tobacco illegal, without recognizing why some people use it.

Smoking isn’t just a nasty, carcinogenic addiction. It’s also an accessible form of self-medication for folks who can’t get anything else. For example, the correlation between smoking and ADHD is high, because it’s a readily available stimulant with a fast delivery mechanism, which is not something that can be said for other medications, if you can even get both a diagnosis and a doctor who believes your symptoms are severe enough to medicate. It’s also something that allows for subtle fidgeting: look at the way some smokers play with their cigarette (or vape, nowadays) between drags. In fact, I would be very interested to see if the so-called “overdiagnosis” or “explosion” in diagnosis of conditions like ADHD corresponds to the stigmatization of smoking in our society.

None of this is to say that smoking is harmless. Or that it’s good, or we should allow it unconditionally. And it is true that racism, colonialism and marketing have played a huge role in taking it from a ceremonial and even therapeutic drug and turned it into a Public Health problem. But we should also be careful not to perpetuate harm in a zeal to solve that problem.