New Zealand’s Bill to ban Tobacco

New Zealand’s Bill to ban Tobacco

News: To fulfil its plan to be smokefree by 2025, the New Zealand Parliament recently tabled the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill.

• The Tobacco Endgame refers to a policy approach that focuses on ending the Tobacco Epidemic, aiming at a ‘tobacco-free future’.
• The Bill seeks three Strategies to reduce Smoking significantly or ending it.
• If implemented, it will be the world-first legislation that will stop the next generation from ever being able to legally buy cigarettes.

What are the three strategies?
• Drastically reducing nicotine content in tobacco so it is no longer addictive (known as “denicotinisation” or “very low nicotine cigarettes” (VLNC)).
• A 90% to 95% reduction in the number of shops that can sell tobacco.
• Making it illegal to sell tobacco to people born on or after 1 January 2009. (thus, creating a “smoke free generation”).

What are India’s initiatives in this regard?
• Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 - It replaced the Cigarettes Act of 1975 (largely limited to statutory warnings- ‘Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health’ to be displayed on cigarette packs and advertisements. It did not include non-cigarettes). The 2003 Act also included cigars, bidis, cheroots, pipe tobacco, hookah, chewing tobacco, pan masala, and gutka.
• Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 - It prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
• mCessation Programme - It is an initiative using mobile technology for tobacco cessation. India launched mCessation using text messages in 2016 as part of the government’s Digital India initiative. It uses two-way messaging between the individual seeking to quit tobacco use and programme specialists providing them dynamic support.
• National Tobacco Quitline services – Launched with the purpose to help and reach out to as many tobacco users as possible.

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