The New Zealand government announced on Thursday (December 9) it plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime in one of the world’s toughest crackdowns on the tobacco industry, arguing that other efforts to extinguish smoking were taking too long.

People aged 14 in 2027, when the law is scheduled to come into effect, will never be allowed to legally purchase cigarettes in the Pacific country of five million, while the level of nicotine in all cigarettes on sale will be reduced, New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said in a statement.

Calling it the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan, the government will consult with a Maori health task force in the coming months before introducing legislation into parliament in June next year, with the aim of making it law by the end of 2022.

That would make New Zealand’s retail tobacco industry one of the most restricted in the world, just behind Bhutan where cigarette sales are banned outright.

New Zealand’s neighbour Australia was the first country in the world to mandate plain packaging of cigarettes in 2012.