The 2-page handout

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New Zealand's new conservative government has abandoned a groundbreaking plan to ban smoking in the country. Last year, New Zealand became the first country in the world to introduce legislation to phase out the sale of cigarettes. Then leader Jacinda Ardern introduced measures to phase out smoking by preventing new generations of young adults from purchasing cigarettes. The policy was hailed around the world as a bold move to improve the health of the nation. However, the new Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon, has controversially done a U-turn and junked Ms Ardern's plans. He said the ban was unaffordable and that the country needed the tax revenues from tobacco sales.

The radical smoking ban was a landmark decision that prompted other countries to reconsider their public health policies. The British government followed suit by announcing laws that will make it illegal for youngsters to buy cigarettes over the coming years. A spokesperson said the UK wants "to deliver smoke-free generations". Canada has recently become the first country to require health warnings be put on individual cigarettes. Anti-tobacco groups are up in arms over Mr Luxon's about-turn. One group said: "Turning the tide on harmful products that are entrenched in society cannot be done by individuals or even communities. It takes good and brave population-level policies."



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