NZ Tobacco Ban

I truly am one of those people who tends to have an opinion on almost everything, which is why I write a blog, but there are sometimes subjects on which I hold several contradictory positions simultaneously. This can be convenient when you just want to float with the current in a group conversation, but on the other hand it can be damned confusing, and damaging to my self-esteem – why can’t I tell right from wrong here?
I am talking about New Zealand’s impending ban on tobacco. The idea is to raise the age every year so that Kiwis who are currently 14 or under will never live in a New Zealand where they can purchase tobacco – at least not legally. Of course, this may lead to a black market in tobacco but, as an island nation, New Zealand can control their borders a lot more easily than other countries can. But, as a nation with a moderate climate, tobacco would probably grow just fine there, and plenty of sheep farmers might grow a little patch for themselves and their friends. On the other hand, that’s a lot of work for a cigarette, so I doubt it would ever become a major industry. Tobacco is not marijuana. Tobacco is not alcohol. I imagine most people, faced with the lack of access, will stop smoking and very soon realize the health benefits, and compensate for the loss of tobacco with some other bad habit, e.g. nail biting, or gum chewing. Even their current restrictive policy on tobacco has led to an increase in vaping.
So, I expect the ban will have great health benefits and New Zealand, being a small, island nation can probably pull it off. The world should pay more attention to small nations. They can do cool stuff, and the experimentation may show us the way to the future. Costa Rica has no army, and has built itself into an eco-vacation paradise. Iceland threw all their bankers in jail, and has also done amazing things in the field of genetics. Denmark and the Netherlands are world leaders in bike paths, and clean energy.
On the other hand, it is an assault on personal freedom, especially among the Maoris. (who smoke at a significantly higher rate than white New Zealanders)
So, mixed feelings.

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