New Zealand’s parliamentary government has passed what myriad wire services, news outlets and industry associations have referred to as perhaps the strictest tobacco related legislation in the world. The now official nationwide effort to make New Zealand a “smoke-free” country by 2025 includes not only reducing the 6,000 existing retailers by at least 90%, but also “prohibiting the sale of smoked tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.”
A piece published by the BBC explains that the legislation is written in such a way that “the number of people able to buy tobacco will shrink each year. By 2050, for example, 40-year-olds will be too young to buy cigarettes.” For some, news like this may not seem to have any impact on life outside of New Zealand, but that couldn’t be further from reality.
In a new video released by Privada Cigar Club – in association with this publication – the team at the Premium Cigar Association emphasize that bad policy spreads. When a tactic works – anywhere in the world – it is almost immediately replicated elsewhere, beginning on the local level. In an interview filmed weeks ahead of the law’s passing, PCA Senior Manager of Government Affairs and International Policy, Ryan Parada, used language from the New Zealand bill while discussing generational bans. The video below is set to begin at the moment Parada begins sharing, but you’ll want to go back and watch it all in its entirety.
The truth is that for every enthusiast eager to discuss faint notes of burnt sugar or old leather, there are an exponential number of people who are under the false impression that cigars are meant to be inhaled. Driving this point home, Deputy Executive Director and Head of Government Affairs for the PCA , Joshua Habursky, shares that a simple yet sizable obstacle in the way of positive cigar policy is the widely held misconception that a cigar is essentially a really big cigarette.
While testimony and evidence, available here, were provided by the Association months in advance of the final decision, some observers suggest that a determination had been reached well in advance of any public input. While no exemptions have been carved out for premium cigars, vaping products do not appear to be significantly impacted. This detail may prove to play a more significant role as this story continues to develop. In the interim, if you enjoy cigars – and want to be involved in protecting them – go to CigarAction.org and take advantage of all the state, federal and international resources that the PCA has made available.