What is the true significance of New Zealand’s generational tobacco ban?

New Zealand’s ban on cigarette sales to people born after 1st January 2009 may look like a dry run for complete prohibition. But there’s a crucial difference, really: the law (which doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes or heated tobacco, though pouches are already illegal) will still allow for combustibles to be legally available to older people.

As a result, it will be a test not so much of prohibition itself as of the authorities’ effectiveness in controlling what could be an exceptionally ubiquitous black market – and of the interest that the generation about to turn 14 actually has in smoking.


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