New Zealand is phasing out the sale of cigarettes, under a law expected to be enacted next year.

Anyone born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime. “We want to make sure young people never start smoking,” Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verall said.

The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand’s health ministry on Thursday.

Doctors and other health experts in the country have welcomed the “world-leading” reforms, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes.

“It will help people quit or switch to less harmful products, and make it much less likely that young people get addicted to nicotine,” said Prof Janet Hook from the University of Otago.

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