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New Zealand as Neverland: where children never grow up

“New Zealand smoking ban: young to be barred from ever buying cigarettes”, the Times reports.

New Zealand will ban young people from ever being able to purchase tobacco under world-leading plans to make the country virtually smoke-free within four years.

No one who is under the age of 14 today will ever be legally permitted to buy cigarettes in a drive to eradicate smoking from the country under new legislation to be introduced early next year.

Each year the legal smoking age, now 18, will be increased, with new age groups added to the ban list until the country is almost smoke-free.

21 comments to New Zealand as Neverland: where children never grow up

  • Paul Marks

    I suggest banning the Prime Minister of New Zealand – as the lady loves banning other people (for example for saying things she does not like), she can have no moral defence against being banned herself.

  • XC

    *cough* prohibition *cough*

    “It’s not expected that vaping products would be affected by the ban.”

    Oh, well, then.

    How about MJ? No, that’s not covered either. How about pipes? Not covered. How about indigenous ceremonies? Not covered, of course.



  • X Trapnel

    Is a 24 year-old legislator competent to ban a 25-year old voter from doing something which a 26-year old is allowed to do?

    You’re too young to make those decisions, so as someone even younger than you I’m going to take away your freedom of choice on the matter.

    First they come for your Marlboro Lights, then they come for your Marlborough Sauvignon…

  • XC

    @X above – nicely done.

    I recall, in the 1980’s, when the national minimum drinking age was rolling out in the US, backed by threats around highway funds. (Saint Ronnie was responsible – he got rolled by the harpies at MADD)

    Anyway, there were age cutoffs in North Carolina – before date X you couldn’t drink, before X+10 months you could drink until the next age ban rolled in, past X+11 you could drink. I recall several friends who were, basically, the same age as me who couldn’t go to the bar because of an unfortunate birthday.

    I’d ask if NZ thought about that, but “thinking” is probably an ageist charge.


  • This is all meaningless sheep-dip anyway.

    The Indonesians are already flooding both Australia and New Zealand with reasonable quality cigarettes and rolling tobacco at a far, far below the post-tax Aus/NZ price. If customs seize the goods they will ship replacement product at no cost, which goes to show how extortionate taxes and other government markups on cigarettes and tobacco are.

    In addition to the direct personal import business there is the bulk smuggling of pre-packed fake cigarettes and rolling tobacco of very variable quality that is sold by the usual ragtag waifs and strays in pubs, clubs, restaurants and behind the counter of most small shops. Everybody knows it goes on, but as long as nobody talks about it everybody is happy, other than Comrade Jacinda and the usual health Nazis and who gives a flying phuq about them?

  • Mr Ecks

    The issue here is symbolic.

    Jacaranda Vagina-Dentata needs her arrogant bullshit reigned in. She needs to be shown she is no more than shite on God’s shoe.

    This Verrall creature needs her teeth taking out with pliars and without anesthetic on video so the world gets a clear idea of what Govt BS is really worth.

    That will give JCVD something to contemplate for her own future.

  • embutler butler

    how bout a prohibition on robbing banks???

  • flying saucer

    New Zealand lacks organized crime, and feels it needs some?

    This will work.

    Nothing better than legally buying and illegally reselling legal product to introduce people to mob lifestyle.


  • Sam Duncan

    … until the country is almost smoke-free.

    It’s the way they give indication of actually believing it. If you keep trying a failed policy again and again, one day it magically works, right?

  • Widmerpool

    It’s not a failed policy, Sam Duncan. The country is already, unless you are Maori, essentially smoke free. I haven’t seen anyone smoke in years.

  • Phil B

    When I moved to the Tasman/Marlborough region of NZ and was looking at rural houses, several of the properties I viewed had old tobacco drying barns as a “feature”. The climate and soil is very suitable for growing tobacco virtually in the whole of NZ.

    Now, if the buggers can grow cannabis in commercial quantities and have a very efficient distribution and selling operation (for those in the cities) and the rural people grow it in their gardens, what do you think they are going to do when tobacco is banned?

    Answers on the back of a postcard to the usual address …

  • bobby b

    Don’t have a postcard, but . . .

    Remember Soma? It’s a brave new world. 😉

    (Sometimes I think the prevalence of The Stupid Drug is what explains the rise of wokism in the US. It can’t dismay the NZ leaders to think that even more might be available to its voters.)

  • Sean

    If it deters Chinese tourists it can’t be all bad.

  • staghounds

    XC- replace “not covered” with “protected”.

  • Fraser Orr

    The expression “Streisand Effect” comes to mind.

  • Bruce

    The Land of the Wrong White Crowd is stuffed.

    It will be a Chinese protectorate within the decade.

    Australia is not far behind, either.

  • Sam Duncan

    Widmerpool: I’ve never seen anyone smoking marijuana in real life (seriously, I haven’t), but I’m not about to say it never happens. And there’s nothing like banning something to make it wildly popular among teenagers.

  • Chester Draws

    Young Kiwis don’t smoke anyway — overwhelmingly they vape instead. It’s actually quite hard to find a kid at my school who has even *tried* cigarettes. But a good 25% of them vape — pretty much all those that would have smoked in the past.

    Assuming vaping stays legal and reasonably cheap, those in the age group affected really won’t care at all. In fact they won’t notice. Those young that do still smoke cigarettes, mostly poor Maori, don’t vote, and will just switch to vaping.

    The government is using what was already happening to make themselves look good. They might as well be banning white walled tyres or spats.

  • William O. B'Livion


    I lived in North Carolina at the time and my birthday fell into that window where I was legal to drink in the state for a couple weeks.

  • William O. B'Livion

    The government is using what was already happening to make themselves look good.

    Good is not the word I would use.

  • Bruce Hoult

    I’m very much against smoking. I’ve never smoked (not even tried one), don’t go places where people are smoking, would not date someone who smokes [1].

    And the other commenters who say smoking is nearly extinct in NZ anyway — outside of Maori and also over 60s — are correct.

    However I am very much against banning things. Or mandating things. Comrade Jacinda and her colleagues have been doing far too much of both in the last four years.

    I sense that many people, even traditional Labour voters, have lost patience with the current government, after giving them a free ride in the first year of the COVID pandemic. The “Podium of Truth”, especially, rankles with even traditional supporters.

    Meanwhile, the major opposition slightly-less-left-wing (or, at least, “let’s move left slightly more slowly”) National party has been busy self-destructing.

    The hopeful thing is that the somewhat but not entirely Libertarian “ACT” party has been doing well in the polls recently. ACT got 0.69% of the party vote in the 2014 election, 0.50% in the 2017 election (both giving 1 seat in parliament), and 7.58% in the 2020 election (giving 10 seats in parliament).

    The latest polls show ACT on 16%.

    [1] at least not regularly. I’ve had a couple of GFs who sometimes “borrowed” a cigarette from people at parties.