New Zealand tobacco policy shift: no more ’endgame’

New Zealand tobacco policy is changing. The new government plans to reverse the ‘endgame’ policy. This shift from coercion to consent could lead to more effective tobacco control and align with global harm reduction debates.

The new coalition government in New Zealand has announced a significant shift in tobacco policy. Clive Bates, a respected health expert, argues that reversing the previous government’s ‘endgame’ tobacco measures is a strategic advance, not a setback.

New Zealand tobacco policy: a major turnaround

These ‘endgame’ measures included denicotinization, major retail outlet reductions, and a smoke-free generation initiative. Bates criticizes these policies for their potential to create black markets and lawlessness. He questions their effectiveness and ethical basis.

Bates advocates for a utilitarian approach and emphasizes respect for individual choice and minimizing negative effects. The coalition’s decision to repeal these measures could lead to a more effective, consent-driven policy environment.

Global impact of the policy shift

This change in New Zealand is part of a global debate on tobacco harm reduction versus bans. Bates believes this new direction could inspire more effective, consent-based strategies worldwide. It challenges traditional tobacco control methods.

“”I think it [the policy reversal] will allow New Zealand to advance further and faster, with more pragmatic measures built on lawful, well-regulated markets drawing on consent rather than coercion. That will be better for everyone (except the criminals and gangs),” Clive Bates states in his advocacy blog The Counterfactual.

For more on this topic, read Clive Bates’ full article.