In 2050, 40-year-olds in New Zealand will be too young to buy cigarettes, per the BBC.

On Tuesday, New Zealand parliament passed legislation for the world’s first tobacco ban for future generations. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2009, will never be able to purchase cigarette or tobacco products, according to the Guardian.

“Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5bn better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations,” Ayesha Verrall, a health minister, said at the law’s passing on Tuesday, per the Guardian.

According to Time, the new law also cut back the number of retailers legally allowed to sell tobacco products from roughly 6,000 to just 600 nationwide. It also decreased the limit for nicotine levels allowed in tobacco that is smoked.

“Nicotine will be reduced to non-addictive levels and communities will be free from the proliferation and clustering of retailers who target and sell tobacco products in certain areas,” Verrall said, per the BBC.

The new law means that the minimum age to smoke with go up each year — hopefully minimizing the number of smokers in the country. The New Zealand Smokefree Environments Bill aims to reduce the number of smokers to less than 5% by 2025, and eventually eliminating tobacco use altogether.

Smoking rates in New Zealand are already historically low. In 2021-22, 8% of adults reported being daily smokers, which is down from 16.4% of reported daily smokers in 2011-12, reports the Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health.

The libertarian ACT party opposed the bill, and shared concerns that many of New Zealand’s corner stores or “dairies” would go out of business if they are not allowed to sell cigarettes.

“We stand opposed to this bill because it’s a bad bill and it’s bad policy, it’s that straightforward and simple,” said Brooke van Velden, ACT’s deputy leader, per Time. “There won’t be better outcomes for New Zealanders.”

Van Velden believes that the prohibition of cigarettes will lead to consequences such as the formation of a large black market.

Smoking in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases in the U.S., and accounts for more than 480,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Over 16 million Americans suffer from a smoking-related disease.

In recent decades, smoking rates in the U.S. have declined, but 12.5% of U.S. adults still report being daily smokers.