News Releases
New Zealand: Plans to ban sale of tobacco to anyone born after 2008 “absurd” and “illiberal”

Plans to ban the sale of tobacco to people born after 2008 in New Zealand have been described as “absurd” and “illiberal” by smokers’ rights campaigners.

Simon Clark, spokesman for Forest, said:

“This is prohibition in all but name and prohibition very rarely works.

“If tobacco is made illegal to people born after 2008 it won’t stop younger generations smoking.

“The sale of tobacco will simply be driven underground and consumers will buy tobacco on the unregulated black market.

“The impact of this policy will hit non-smokers as well because the government will have to replace lost revenue by taxing something else.”

He added:

“Any attempt to introduce a similar law in the UK would be fiercely resisted. You can’t have a two-tier society in which 30-year-olds are treated differently to 40-year-olds. Adults should be treated like adults whatever their age.

“This is about freedom of choice and personal responsibility and politicians should think very carefully before they sink to prohibition as a tool to achieve their smoke-free goal.”

Simon Clark

Mission & Vision



Forest’s mission is to protect the interests of adults who choose to smoke or consume tobacco.


Our key aims and objectives are to:

  • counteract the “denormalisation” of smoking, and smokers
  • prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
  • establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
  • build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
  • highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals