New Zealand has just adopted a law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2008. The age of the individual is no longer considered: these people, who are now 14 years old, will still not be able to not buy cigarettes when they reach majority, or even retirement.
Unlike Canada, New Zealand law is not bound by a bill of rights. But according to Patrick Taillon, professor of law at Laval University, a similar ban would be less difficult to implement in the country than we think.
“The fault is at the same time the remedy. We want to respect the fact that part of the population is dependent and can hardly drop out. […] But if you have never smoked, the ban is not of the same nature, ”he underlines in an interview on Isabelle Richer’s show.
Mr. Taillon draws a parallel with the law prohibiting tobacco companies from displaying advertisements, adopted in 1988.
” Interestingly, the measure would be more drastic than the advertising ban, but perhaps easier to justify. […] There is a consistency in saying that those who are already dependent have a grandfather clause, and those who have never tasted it, we will protect them. »
According to Mr. Taillon, the argument of justified discrimination might be difficult for tobacco companies to handle.
We do not say that young people have less dignity by withdrawing tobacco from the markethe points out.
The perverse effects of the ban
The total ban on the sale of tobacco, even if it is spread over decades, does not only have positive effects, underlines another professor.
On the contrary, New Zealand is taking the wrong approach, believes Jean-Sébastien Fallu, professor of psychoeducation and specialist in drug legalization issues, in an interview with the 15-18.
” To aim for a tobacco-free society, to prohibit it completely, I think, is not only a bad approach, but it goes against the current of knowledge that is developing in the field of drug policy. »
Mr. Fallu clarified that the ban creates an attraction for the product for some people. This puts the most marginalized individuals at risk.
The disappearance of the legal sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products would also promote the black market.
Tobacco will not disappear completely, organized crime will manage itunderlines the professor.
Mr. Fallu points out that Quebec has greatly reduced its smoking rate with
sweet stigmasuch as anti-tobacco advertising campaigns.
The smoking rate in New Zealand is 8%. This figure is 11% for Canada and 12% for Quebec.
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