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P.E.I. considers banning people born after certain date from buying tobacco products

CHARLOTTETOWN — In a bold bid to stop young people from smoking, health officials in P.E.I. are proposing a ban on tobacco sales to anyone born after a certain date.

The idea, first introduced in New Zealand and moving forward in the United Kingdom, is included in a consultation paper released earlier this week by the Island’s Health Department and its chief public health office.

The five-year wellness plan, titled Live Well P.E.I., calls for a “tobacco-free generation” policy, suggesting as an example that no one born after Jan. 1, 2009, would be able to legally purchase cigarettes.

The document says this approach recognizes that most smokers begin their habit in their teens, which means that preventing early adoption is the key to ending what it describes as “the tobacco epidemic.”

Earlier this year, New Zealand repealed its pioneering tobacco-free generation law, which would have banned sales to those born after Jan. 1, 2009.

A new government elected in October said it planned to take a different approach to discouraging the habit and helping people quit smoking.

Meanwhile, the British government’s proposed legislation for a similar ban, with the same cut-off date, cleared first reading in Parliament last month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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