The New Zealand government is planning to scrap anti-smoking law.Photo Courtesy: Reza Mehrad/Unsplash
The new government of New Zealand is planning to scrap the nation's smoking ban to fund tax cuts, media reports said.
The legislation was introduced by the previous Jacinda Ardern-led government.
The move would have banned cigarette sales next year to anyone born after 2008.
The government's new decision to reverse the ban has been criticised by health experts.
"We are appalled and disgusted... this is an incredibly retrograde step on world-leading, absolutely excellent health measures," said Prof Richard Edwards, a tobacco control researcher and public health expert at the University of Otago.
"Most health groups in New Zealand are appalled by what the government's done and are calling on them to backtrack," he told the BBC.
New Zealand's announcement of banning the selling of cigarettes was appreciated internationally.
Measures included restricting the number of tobacco retailers, and reducing the level of nicotine in cigarettes, reported BBC.
The law had even inspired the UK government in September to announce a similar smoking ban for young people.
A spokeswoman was quoted as saying by BBC that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's position remained unchanged after New Zealand's reversal.
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