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A smoke-free NZ by 2025

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, November 3rd, 2010 - 130 comments
Categories: drugs, health, Maori Issues - Tags:

The Maori Affairs select committee has released its report on smoking. Most of its recommendations have been proposed here and elsewhere before:

– forcing tobacco companies to reveal the ingredients and chemicals in their products, cracking down on covert sponsorship by tobacco companies
– taking away the display stands and enforcing plain packaging
– high taxes and pumping the money into anti-smoking education/advertising (I would suggest making the industry fully-fund the future health costs of smoking now, like we do with ACC because if we do go smoke-free we’ll still be bearing the cost with no excise to pay it)
– limits on imports (I think Zet suggested that first) and reducing the amount that can be grown for personal use to a realistic level.

It’s about making smoking more costly, making the industry bear the costs that it is imposing on society, decreasing the attractiveness of cigarettes, and encouraging societal change.

It’s great to see politicians setting a really ambitious goal coupled with policies to achieve it. Labour and the Greens are on board. What about National? Well our Do Nothing PM, John ‘ambitious for New Zealand’ Key says it’s too hard.

Guess we need a government with some balls.

130 comments on “A smoke-free NZ by 2025 ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    Let’s not forget where National really stand on this:


    The Smokefree legislation (2003) was opposed by nearly every National MP, including John Key.

  2. Jim Nald 2

    “Big ask”, says Big Ass.

    Indeed, Mr Ambitious did also say his government would be ‘fresh’.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Smokefree legislation (2003) was opposed by nearly every National MP, including John Key.

    Time for Goff to praise the NATs for being consistently behind the times and, added on to the alcohol level back down, for consistently siding with industry against NZers health.

  4. randal 4

    this is not good policy and it really represents that section of new zealanders who want to tell others what to do.
    and bash them if they dont obey.
    If this becomes law then what about tourists who come here and want to smoke.
    are they going to be followed round by the inevitable smoking police too?
    I personally quit about three years ago and I did it by using a book written by one Gillian Riley.
    Her method is to feel it and heal it.
    Not repress it and fight it and the others.
    It even worrks for passive smoking too.
    i.e. It is not my choice and if I have to breath in all the crap and detritus from the zombies and their petrol motors (leaf blower, motorsickills, cars etc, then I can certainly handle a bit of tobacco smoke without spitting the dummy.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The smokers presently tell us what to do so I have no problem with telling them to shove off.

      • Vicky32 4.1.1

        What smokers would that be then? I go out of my way to comply with the wishes of non-smokers, even when it means I have to stand on a road and breathe in dangerous amounts of vehicle emissions, or risk heaps of joint pain by standing in a freezing cold, damp environment… Don’t be a health nazi!

        • Draco T Bastard

          They demand the added health costs that we have to cover.

          • Vicky32

            I trust you probably know we smokers already cover those “extra costs”. 70% of the price of a packet of cigs is tax…
            Also, I was told by a guy who worked at the Stats Dept back in 2003, that they are told to define *all* cardiac and respiratory deaths as smoking related – yes, even the death of a 6 week old, who was born premi and never left the NICU. Her death is cardiac, therefore it’s smoking related. (and before you start the second hand smoke bleat, let’s further stipulate that baby to have been born to health nazi parents who live on a lifestyle block 50ks from any smokers… ) She’s imaginary, but real cases I know of aren’t… and then there’s Rosy’s bizarre assertionn that a congenital auto-immune disease is caused by smoking! Utter pants.
            Honest accounting may well see those extra costs dropping like a stone.

          • jbanks

            You’re right draco, let’s introduce a user pays health system.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah why not, everyone will end up paying

              • jbanks

                That’s great. People will have to take responsibility for the added health costs that they currently demand we have to cover.

                • Frank Macskasy

                  Like in America, with their growing obesity epidemic?

                • Colonial Viper

                  You are making very big assumptions about non-rational actors, also the information that people have and can act on, to control their health.

                  So tell me, how is an 8 year old diagnosed with leukemia supposed to “take responsibility for the added health costs” that they create?

            • Frank Macskasy

              Except that with user-pays, if you can’t pay, you can’t use it.

              America shows us the consequences of user-pays in medical care; millions of ordinary people unable to afford healthcare; spiralling insurance premiums; and people bankrupted by high costs.

              No thanks. A bullet to the head would be faster.

        • pixie

          Well said Vicky am over non smokers and there rights,bet that person enjoys a drink freedom of choose , why dont the govt look at the really issues of this counrty abuse,rape,murder,proverty,etc

  5. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 5

    So the Greens want to legalise cannabis and criminalise tobacco?

    • Bright Red 5.1

      they don’t want to criminalise tobacco – they want to manage the harm it causes, as they want to do with cannabis.

      Hone wants to ban it.

    • gobsmacked 5.2

      It’s a cross-party report. Backed by the New Zealand Medical Association. I think they want to save lives.

      So where do you stand, Ole? Got anything to offer?

      • travellerev 5.2.1

        If they wanted to save lives why not start with properly funding ACC instead of illegal wars such as the one in Afghanistan, give funding for women who need therapy after they have been raped. Fund schools and and free student loans so that we have a well educated population which will be prepared for the hardship of the economic collapse to come. Why is it that the save lives issue is only used when it comes to telling people what they can and cannot do.

        Captcha: HUNG. ROFL.

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 5.2.2

        I’d could offer you a fag, if you like.

    • Thomas forrow 5.3

      So the Greens want to legalise cannabis and criminalise tobacco?

      er no, here is the policy.

      • g-man 5.3.1

        So, apparently the Greens are on-board with the recommendations of making NZ smoke-free by 2025 …

        … and their medium term policy is “Introduce a legal age limit of 18 years for personal cannabis use” …

        … and their long-term policy is “Monitor and evaluate the effects of the removal of personal penalties for cannabis use …”

        … but you say they don’t want to legalise cannabis and criminalise tobacco?

  6. freedom 6

    and no doubt all these measures will immediately be applied to alcohol as well,
    if not i have a few ideas of what the hypocrites can do with their rule books and holier than thou bs attitude

    • Unlike tobacco, alcohol in small amounts is not harmful and studies suggest it can even be beneficial. But broadly speaking I’d support that. Particularly using the taxes collected on alcohol to combat its abuse.

      I wonder whether packaging really has any effect on the non user of a product, be it tobacco or alcohol? I’ve spent half a lifetime looking at cigarette packaging, even before it had the gruesome pictures on it, and never been tempted to take a drag let alone buy a packet.

      Similarly I’m not about to change my brand of Scotch just because another bottle looks pretty… I’d want to taste it first. About the only alcohol packaging that influences my choice are the tasting notes on wine, and tag lines about the “smooth clean taste” of cigarettes are already banned.

      • Vicky32 6.1.1

        I had replied but lost my connection and my reply! I will just cut it short and say that despite all the propaganda, tobacco is also beneficial in small amounts – especially to the psyche! (It helps stress and aids memory and concentration.)

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Only if you’ve come to depend on it to do so, Deb. I’m told yoga has the same effect for some people. Personally, I find shouting a lot works for me 😀

          • Vicky32

            “Only if you’ve come to depend on it to do so, Deb.”
            Not in my experience! I tried therapeutic screaming before I was a smoker, and found it of limted benefit.
            Then, someone offered me a cigarette when I was in a crisis, and yes, that did help! So the cause and the effect were opposite…
            Sadly I am now psychologically dependent..

            • Rex Widerstrom

              There’s “therapetuic screaming”?!

              I can’t see that working… bit like those therapies that expect you to laugh uproariously at nothing.

              I practice Basil Fawlty shouting, at inanimate objects (and small Spanish waiters 😉 )

              Once I’ve informed the car just how totally unacceptable it is that it should decide to overheat on a remote section of highway just to annoy me, perhaps emphasised with a swift kick up the driver’s door, I tend to feel significantly more relaxed.

              Horses for courses, I guess.

              • Vicky32

                What therapeutic screaming was, was walking with my son along K Road, and making a game out of “screaming til (your) lungs give out” to paraphrase that song a few years back…
                Actually, yes, I do shout at recalcitrant toasters and microwaves that lose their cord down the back of the giant fridge… Tee hee!
                Deb 🙂

      • mcflock 6.1.2

        “Unlike tobacco, alcohol in small amounts is not harmful ”

        One of the fascinating things about the tobacco narrative is that it seems to imply that tobacco is the only substance on the planet that does not have a dose-response relationship.

        As for packaging, I *have* preferred one bottle of scotch over another because of the packaging. Essentially it was a neutral choice – it turned out that neither brand was particularly impressive.

        One thing that ASH are shit at addressing is advertising that deals to the graveyard humour or just plain bloody-mindedness in a segment of the population – hell, there was even the “death” cigarette brand for a while. Some jerk trying to say cigarettes aren’t cool has a counterproductive effect in people who like to respond “what, and YOU are?”

        • Rex Widerstrom

          One of the fascinating things about the tobacco narrative is that it seems to imply that tobacco is the only substance on the planet that does not have a dose-response relationship.

          Actually I recall seeing some research yonks back that said tobacco was no more nor less harmful than other leaves burned and inhaled (marijuana etc). And AFAIK there isn’t rampant cancer amongst even heavy marijuana users – though it may be hard to pin down as the majority I’ve come across seem to smoke both, sometimes mixed together.

          IIRC it’s all the crap they add in that makes them so toxic, to smokers and second hand smokers alike. Small doses of that are pretty much highly toxic, so much so that dosage is not especially relevant, while the more benign tobacco itself does have the dose-response relationship you mention.

          And you’re right about the “uncool” antismoking advertisements. In Australia they’re trying ones that show the smoking teenager excluded outside while the non smoking “cool crowd” don’t smoke inside. Clearly the nerds who dreamed that one up have never been to a teenage party, even when teenagers.

          • mcflock

            Well, rather than licensing smokers, what about regulating the content of cigarettes? In the same vein as saying that milk can’t be boosted with melamine?

            And why boost taxes on *all* tobacco products to the same degree? Taxing cigars and snuff to the same extent as tailormades is like launching publicity campaigns against all meats because cheap mince patties fried in lard might cause heart disease.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              You’re getting beyond my knowledge level there mcflock. Someone once told me cigars were worse because they too were loaded with some of the same additives, had no filters, and concentrated their delivery in the mouth and throat, thus delivery a higher dosage to a smaller area.

              Whether that’s true or not…

              Anyway, when I suggested a lesser tax on good wine versus alcopops because the latter are what’s used to get maggoted by a far greater number of people, I was accused of elitism, so far be it from me to defend cigars! 😉

              • mcflock

                I don’t know about the machine-rolled paper-wrapped cigars that are mostly stalk, but traditional cigars are usually made from nothing but tobacco leaf that has been dried and cured (although from my limited understanding of the process, “semi-rotted” might be more accurate). The only additives are occasionally things like rum or vanilla for taste. As opposed to industrial cigarette manufacture where things are leeched, bleached and so on.

                That having been said, cigar smoke is stronger (I think I heard once slightly more acidic?) than tailormades. Mouth and throat cancer are way up (i.e. the mucus membranes exposed to the smoke, and probably stomach/bowel slightly up (from swallowing smoke-infused saliva). But the big killers (lung cancer and heart disease) are down.

                Caveat: except for cigarette smokers who switch to pipes/cigars – they tend to draw fully in the cigar, so likely die quicker.

                All in all, the issue smacks of bigotry rather than actual reasoned response to an issue. Tobacco control seems to me to be a threshhold issue, where industrially-manufactured likely-to-be-lethal products are in the same categorical continuum as what is essentially a moderate-risk lifestyle choice, like base-jumping or unsafe sex. The secondhand smoke issue is now trace-element under the current laws, so “ooohh you might harm others” doesn’t count. Plane crashes occasionally invole ground fatalities, too.

                In this case, I agree with the tories – it’s getting into dodgy territory.

  7. The simplest way to get rid of the scourge of smoking (in addition to the above) while respecting the rights of individuals is to issue “smoker’s licences”, on a similar basis to the way in which, say, opiate addicts can obtain methadone while the rest of us can’t.

    If you’re presently a nicotine addict you can – perhaps by way of a certificate from your doctor – obtain a card entitling you to purchase tobacco products (and maybe to free stop smoking treatments, though that would come down to affordability and I have no idea of the cost implications).

    Anyone without a licence could not purchase tobacco. Thus it would be hugely problematic for new smokers to start. Some still would (through getting others to buy for them) but the sheer inconvenience of maintaining a habit that way would discourage the majority, I expect.

    • freedom 7.1

      that type of thinking then begs the question why fast food outlets are not also licenced, as there is incontravertable proof of the damage that particulatr product does

      all of this is just windowdressing for the emporer’s new clothes.
      It is a distraction from the incremental progression of authority over personal freedoms

      if anti-smokers are all so concerned with our personal health, take the trucks off the road, and the buses and every vehicle that is above a certain emission level, close every industry that spews toxins into our air, release some accurate data on the carcinogenic fumes and particles of rubber that people inhale every day

      Only a couple of weeks ago at a streetside cafe i had a woman ask me to put out my cigarette, as a sheep truck sat at the lights spewing black exhaust over the immediate area, she was stoney cold when i pointed out her amazing ability to distinguish my cigarette smoke from the exhaust

      you can ban smoking but guess what, people are still gonna die of nasty, painful and untreatable diseases because the human genome dictates that we are imperfect organisms prone to biological failure.

      also, where is the $700million plus that smokers currently pay in taxes going to come from?

      • I agree it’s a slippery slope, freedom. However even fast food in moderation can cause no harm and performs a positive function – staving off hunger and proving some nutrients (coming home late last night I had my first fast food meal in over four months, for instance. Not the best choice, but not likely to be harmful in the overall scheme of a healthy diet).

        With fast food it’s a matter of encouraging healthier choices and consumption in moderation… there’s a “middle way”, in other words.

        But cigarettes have no redeeming qualities other than to stave off, in the smoker, the cravings that they themselves have caused. On the other hand they can and do cause harm – though not always – to users.

        Where it’s so undeniably clear-cut – as it is with the worst illegal drugs – then I can see a logical argument for eliminating it in a way that does not intefere with your freedom to smoke now you’ve started.

        I know what you mean about diesel exhaust… my favourite outdoor cafe is right next to a traffic light and I endure diesel fumes from trucks and buses. That comes down to tougher emission controls and doesn’t mean we should overlook the effects of tobacco. Though if a smoker is sitting downwind from me I certainly never complain.

        As for the tax… as suggested in the post, we shift the health burden of smoking related illness onto the tobacco companies. That’ll more than compensate.

        • freedom

          smoking has been successfully used in the treatment of iiritable bowel syndrome, various nervous disorders and also as an aid in weightloss, so to say it has no redeeming features is a tad ignorant Rex, not to mention that after a trauma either mild or serious even non-smokers are known to grab a cigarette to release the anxiety/fear/stress of a situation.

          but i grant you it is a question of self-harm more than anything.

          Humans are very good at selective living, meaning they select what part of life affects them
          and pretend that the rest doesn’t.

          • Colonial Viper

            smoking has been successfully used in the treatment of iiritable bowel syndrome, various nervous disorders and also as an aid in weightloss, so to say it has no redeeming features is a tad ignorant

            OK then, cigarettes as a restricted pharmaceutical drug?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Methamphetamine aids in weightloss too. Your local “P” dealer: just peforming a valuable public service for people with body image issues.

            Okay I’m being facetious but there are alternative, less toxic treatments for all those conditions. Though as I’ve said above, unadulterated tobacco’s beneficial versus harmful effects are at least debateable. What’s not debateable (and what has no redeeming qualities whatsoever) are the multitude of chemical additives used by cigarette manufacturers.

            I don’t smoke marijuana but don’t feel like I’m going to vomit if I get a lungful from someone else’s smoke. I do with a cigarette. I can’t imagine that my body is reacting that way to something as relatively natural as a dried tobacco leaf.

            • freedom

              i predominately smoke loose tobacco so as to avoid that very plethora of unnecessary toxins which they use to short the burn time of filtered/manufactured cigarettes,

              and as everyone knows, its the filters that give you cancer :]

              • mcflock

                My favourite tobacco industry ad (in my opinion the issue is capitalism’s profit motive, not the leaf) is one from the fifties: the smooth, clean, smoke was enabled by their miraculous new asbestos filter. And of course this was well after the perils of asbestos were widely known.

                • Jim Nald

                  OH! If it is not killing you fast enough, speed it up??

                  • mcflock

                    yeah – I think the ad even claimed it was healthier.

                    The big problem isn’t the plant – it’s the culture of capitalism. Tobacco companies were among the worst, but it applies to everything from cars to toothpaste. If the govt sorts that, then smoking will be less addictive and less harmful.

      • Vicky32 7.1.2

        “take the trucks off the road, and the buses and every vehicle that is above a certain emission level, close every industry that spews toxins into our air, release some accurate data on the carcinogenic fumes and particles of rubber that people inhale every day”

        “Only a couple of weeks ago at a streetside cafe i had a woman ask me to put out my cigarette, as a sheep truck sat at the lights spewing black exhaust over the immediate area, she was stoney cold when i pointed out her amazing ability to distinguish my cigarette smoke from the exhaust”
        I have had similar experiences…

        • KJT

          Well. Those of us who do not smoke can actually smell the difference.

          I think smoking should be restricted to consenting adults in private.

          So long as that is adhered too I think adults should be allowed to smoke whatever they damn well like. Tax the hell out of it to cover the costs of treating addicts and health problems.

          Advertising and selling cigarettes to kids should have the same penalties as selling dope does now.

          • mcflock

            Nice – we’re allowed to smoke as long as your spidey senses aren’t exposed to it?

            Oh, well then – how about we make a law that everyone has to bath once a day, brush their teeth twice a day and on no account are allowed to be sanctimonious jerks?

            Nice use of dehumanising labels and general overreaction. And resurrecting the “recover costs of treatment” argument.

            • KJT

              Having had arrogant jerks of smokers impose themselves on me for most of my working life I think it is time they were reined in.

              Those of us who still have a sense of smell find smoking extremely offensive.

              Not very happy about drunken idiots either, but they tend to be the same people.

              Their rights to their addictions are supposed to override our rights not to be bothered by them.

              • mcflock

                Great – let’s outlaw things that bother us, shall we?

                Point proved.

                Maybe you should learn to live in a society or find a deserted island somewhere. Otherwise there’s always going to be something that pisses you off.

              • felix


                They are reined in. No one can bother you with smoking at work anymore. No-one can bother you with smoke in any bar, club, restaurant, shop, cafe, bus, train, toilet, taxi, plane, or any other enclosed public place in the entire country. It’s been done.

                Really sounds like you just want to punish someone.

                • KJT

                  No. Just want to get them out of all public spaces.
                  Amazing how virulent smokers get when you dare to suggest that their “right” to smoke should trump my right to not breath in their harmful exhalations.
                  Just like some people think their right to drink should trump my right to be reasonably safe on the roads.
                  Or their “right” to have loud exhaust pipes should override mine to sleep.

                  It is called consideration. Which is something we non-smokers did not get until it was enforced by law.

                  • mcflock

                    Yeah KJT – I get pissed off when the minor inconvenience of passing me in the street when I might be smoking is blown out of proportion and people call me an “addict” rather than a “person” and assume my fingers are yellow, I have no sense of smell, and I stink all the time. Oh, and equate smoking with drunk driving.

                    Maybe if you exercised the same consideration you demand of others and stopped being a sanctimonious prick, the world would be a happier place. Now wave your cane at the damned disrespectful youths today…

                    • KJT

                      Calm down. I did not say you had to give up your addiction.

                    • mcflock

                      “Calm down. I did not say you had to give up your addiction.”

                      Well that’s mighty fecking considerate of you, boss.

                      Oh, you can bring up bs stereotypes like “no sense of smell”, ignore the fact that tobacco smoking subsidises YOUR healthcare, and equate smoking in the open air to drunk driving, but as long as you graciously permit me to do what I want in my own home everything’s peachy.

                      I’m so glad I live in such a utopian society where we all sing and dance according to your whim – god forbid we should ever cause you the most mild discomfort or irritation.

                      Oh wait – I don’t. Get stuffed.

                  • Vicky32

                    It’s a pity you can’t give the consideration you want to get!
                    I have had people go out of their way to scream at me for smoking in their faces, when they had had to cross 50 metres of parking garage in order to get within smelling distance of my smoke.
                    Years ago, when I was consigned to the aforementioned parking garage by the managers of the serviced offices where I worked, I knew a woman I privately called the crazy woman. About 25 years old, big chest, giant SUV – she’d drive into the parking garage, park her huge vehicle right where emissions from it filled the corner of the concrete basement where I had to stand. Then oblivious to the posions vented from her monster truck, she would fanny about parking (2 minutes) and geting her stuff out of the vehicle, keeping the motor running while she did so. (2 minutes) Then she’d get out of the MT, drape her coat over head and screech “Agh, you smokers, so inconsiderate, I’ve got asthma”. One day I complained about her SUV and she went to the building manager and got me (and the old Indian man who was the only other smoker I met there) banished to the street, whete we had even worse vehicle cr*p to put up with..

                  • felix

                    Geez KJT you must love Guy Fawks – smoke AND noise AND visual pollution.

                    AND it’s a sanctioned activity in public spaces.

                    What a horrible time of the year for you.

                    • KJT

                      I like guy Fawkes. It is for one night of the year.
                      For every story like Vicky’s I could give you a dozen about inconsiderate arrogant smokers in my workplaces where I could not get away from them.

                      From all the ad homs here and the ones we used to get when we asked, politely, that smokers not light up where we had to work I can assume that smoking makes for very angry people. Maybe if you stopped you would calm down!

                    • felix

                      Again with the “workplace”. No one can smoke in your workplace KJT. I’ve explained that already.

                      You remind me of a neighbour I once had who complained about any sound that anyone made in the street.

                      He didn’t like kids, music, dogs, and most other sounds the neighbourhood made. I tried to explain to him that the dead silence he yearned for was an extreme, and the opposite extreme would be a constant barrage of all types of sounds at very high volumes – traffic, kids, building sites, music etc – and that somewhere in between we should all be able to find a compromise involving him accepting a bit of noise sometimes and everyone else respecting the need for quiet sometimes.

                      You know, like normal people do.

                      But he insisted that he had some god-given right to dictate a sound pressure level of zero db regardless of the fact that he was sharing the world with 6 billion non-silent people. Interestingly he liked to mow his lawns and trim his hedges more than twice a week, but apparently this didn’t contribute to the noise issue at all.

                      It turned out ok. I got a trespass order put on him so he couldn’t come over and bitch at us at all hours and everything settled into a type of equilibrium. I doubt that he ever realised that he was the one holding the extreme and unreasonable point of view though.

                      And don’t fucking patronise me either KJT, as I explained to Rex I hardly even qualify as a smoker 90% of the time.

                    • KJT

                      Calm down Felix. Have a Ciggie.

                      You are repeating the same sort of crap about interfering with smokers freedom that they came up with when we tried to get freedom to work without a constant fug.

                      It is no more relevant now than it was then.

                    • felix

                      I suggest you calm down. You’re the one who wants to punish people outside in the park for something that happened to you at work several years ago.

                      And try actually reading my comment rather than just giving your standard knee-jerk puritanical bullshit response. I’m not writing from a smoker’s perspective – I’m a smoker in the same sense that you’re an amphibian because you’ve been swimming.

                      I wonder if you’ve ever done anything outdoors in public that I don’t want to look at. Like playing hackeysack in the park. Or driving a car with an ugly paint job. Or wearing clothes I don’t approve of.

                      ‘Cos that’s where you’re arguing from now – you don’t want to see smoking in public. And that’s just dickish.

    • felix 7.2

      Rex, about these licenses you propose; how would I get one?

      See I like to smoke, usually with a drink, but I don’t smoke every day or even every week. It’s not unusual for my cigs to be 10 days apart or more, depending on how busy I am and other factors.

      I don’t think any doctor could in good conscience license me as a tobacco addict as I don’t exhibit any of the signs of addiction.

      But I still want to smoke now and then. Would you allow me to? Genuine question.

      • If you use cigarettes at present (even if you’re one of those supple Thai bar girls who… errr… don’t always inhale, as it were 😉 ) then you’d get a licence. The idea is purely to prevent the non-smoker taking their first drag.

        I come at it not from acknowledging an addiction but from not removing any rights from those presently enjoying that right, but trying to stop other people harming themselves because as a humanitarian that genuinely upsets me.

        I think you’d be silly to, as putting the product out of your reach if you’re not driven by a physical addiction would, I imagine, be a great way to kick the habit, but that’s a different issue 😛

  8. I find smoking one of the most revolting habits a person can have and have never even tried it but if there is one thing I find more revolting than smoking it is people telling other people what they can and cannot do.
    What’s next, sports, alcohol, sex, food, fishing, certain clothes (I mean common, we all know that we should ban polyester and lurex, for one it’s made of chemical concoctions which you really don’t want next to your skin and have you seen the way it shines when you iron it too hot?) cars and other fume spreading devices? All dangerous as you well know.

    Having come from Amsterdam where all is available as you probably well know it never lead to more and more. In fact I never even smoked dope over there although many of our visiting friends just couldn’t stop smoking it because they were denied in their countries. What we do though is make our own distilled. I wonder if that is so because that was the one thing that was illegal in Holland.

    • The Baron 8.1

      I never thought I would see the day, but you’ve got it spot on Eve.

      It is not the Government’s job to prevent citizens from doing things that they enjoy. Yes, tobacco should be restricted in its promotion AND should indeed be taxed (but only to the level required to recover the cost of the harm it causes) – but beyond that, surely if someone wants to smoke, then who are you to stop them?

    • Rosy 8.2

      The smoking rate in the Netherlands (2009) at 28% is higher than almost all OECD countries except Greece (39.7%). See The last recorded NZ rate (2007) was 18% the theory of something being available leads to less use needs something else to support it.
      See the excel file @ http://www.oecd.org/document/16/0,3343,en_2649_34631_2085200_1_1_1_1,00.html

      BTW smoking is also a cause rheumatoid arthritis as well as heart disease, COPD and lung cancer. The list is getting longer all the time.

      • mcflock 8.2.1

        So more people smoke. Do they smoke more per capita?

        BTW there is also weak evidence that smoking lowers susceptibility to Alzheimers.

      • freedom 8.2.2

        smoking is one of many contributing factors to “rheumatoid arthritis as well as heart disease, COPD and lung cancer”

        If you do not have the genetic triggers for these conditions you will never get them

        heart disease is not a contagion
        rheumatoid athritis is also genetic
        and as for cancer , well good luck isolating the cigarette carcinogens from every other poison you inhale and then after all that wasted effort it still comes down to your genes

        make smoking illegal tomorrow and it won’t change a thing
        except for losing many many millions of tax dollars

        • Colonial Viper

          No don’t make it illegal, just continue to make it a less desirable option to reach for, and one which takes more conscious effort and resource to do so.

          By the way, genes are dumb. They are silent and do nothing by themselves unless the right environmental cues are present. The chemical cocktail in cigarette smoke appears to be able to supply some of those environmental cues.

          • Rosy

            Yes, it’s important to have information out there. Then individuals can decide how bullet-proof they think they, and their families are.

            Countering the advertising and/or removing any form of advertising outlet tobacco companies currently have is also really important. If this has no effect on smoking then why complain? Actually I think this is a pretty well-reasoned post.

            It doesn’t mention banning so I don’t understand the fuss.

          • freedom

            it is also an easy target and allows the rest of the toxins you inhale everyday to pass under the radar, so after cigs are made illegal, what are you going to blame then?

            • Vicky32

              Spot on! I have wondered that myself – even entertained myself by imagining a newspaper 50 years on…
              Back in the early noughties, the Herald had an item that said that vehicle emissions kill 400 people a year in Auckland – coincidentally the same number said to be killed by ‘passive smoking’. When I mentioned those figures to a woman I studied with she sneered “rationalisation” at me… I wished I could have waved the Herald clipping under her nose! I notice a distinct difference in my health when here (at the junction of two roads plagued by the trucks I believe are called ‘B-Doubles’ and when I visit my friend in Welly, who lives in the Hutt Valley and one car a day passes his house!

        • Vicky32

          “rheumatoid athritis is also genetic”
          Absolutely right! I had rheumatoid arthritis for decades before I ever touched a cigarette… I remember years ago, during the meningococcal disease epidemic hearing a newsreader saying that it was linked to smoking… I was scared out of my wits by that, having teenage kids at the time, and so asked a doctor, who said “Why would they have said that? There isn’t even any evidence of co-incidence!”
          The number of things smoking supposedly causes keeps growing and growing to the point that even the most thoughtless person ought to go “huh?????”

  9. Sookie 9

    I gave up smoking six months ago, and I’m yet to turn into a nasty little puritan who whines about smokers and smoking. I smoked for 12 years and enjoyed it, my health was fine, and I paid shitloads in extra tax in the process. I am glad I quit and would never go back, but I would never support a complete ban on smoking. Despite being a lefty, tree hugging, NACT hating liberal in most respects, I like how you get less political bitching about drink and fags when the Nats are in power. There are a lot of nasty habits of Kiwis I detest but I’d never expect them to be banned. Let people go to the devil in their own way, life is hard.

  10. freedom 10

    you may have noticed this is one of two stories that Stuff and the MSM are really not pushing today, the other of course being Tolley and that gang of miscreants, the 225-Rebels, who have the gaul to think that highly trained professionals know more about education than her

  11. vto 11

    ha ha, fancy trying to stop mankind from smoking something……..

    Don’t these politicians have better things to do with their time?

  12. Vicky32 12

    I am a smoker. I will give up when I am ready. I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was a child (it’s congenital, Rosy, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.) I don’t drink alcohol at all, so financially it evens out…
    Health nazis annoy me greatly, especially as I know better about a lot of the nonsense they spout – and even though I have one in the family (a cardiac nurse what’s more.)
    Which brings me to “public service adverts”. Such as the one where the Hollywood film trailer guy announnces portentiously that when you are asleep you have no sense of smell, so if you don’t have smoke alarms, you’re toast. That’s utter nonsense. The BBC had an item a few months back about the Japanese developing smoke alarms for deaf people. These use the smell of wasabi. So there’s a shedload of sh1te spoken on these adverts! (Anyone remember when the Right sacked everyone in the Fire Service, and re-hired half of them? That’s exactly when smoke alarms started to be inflicted on us all.
    I always ask ‘cui bono?’
    Who benefits from all this anti-smoking gurble?

    • Rosy 12.1

      I’m sorry you have RA, but I do know what I’m talking about. It is now an established risk for RA. Other reasons for it occuring are not well understood (well they’re not known at all – I wish they were then I could do something about mine! I was diagnosed 6 years ago, and don’t smoke) http://arthritis.about.com/od/smoking/a/arthritisrisk.htm
      The point I was making (badly) is that there are more and more illnesses being linked directly to tobacco. Secondly as much nonsense spouted by those who want to [īnsert bad habit] and ignore any social consequences as by health promotion zealots.

      • Vicky32 12.1.1

        Point is, Rosy, I have had RA *all my life!* although I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 19. I got neat little booklets about living with it, and these little booklets had nothing to say about smoking – and I got them in the 80s, long after I was diagnosed.
        Read what I said above about the numbers of things smoking causes growing and growing… This causes huge scepticism.
        I remember the screeching in the Listener in the early 00s, when they oublished an article pointing put the positive effects of smoking on memory and concentration. I also remember the letter from an ASH guy who said “It’s true but fie on you for publishing that fact! EVIL!!!!!”
        By the way, Rosy, I followed your link and feel obliged to point out that an assertion is not evidence. (Also, I tend to be put off by that site in particular and by any site that gives the incidence of something *only* in the USA. FFS, who cares how many Americans get this or that? Their environment has been royally bleeped for decades… Ours isn’t.

        • Rosy

          I can give you links to articles with evidence if you have access to academic journals. I also didn’t want to believe this. I was offended that as a non-smoker I could have a condition that had smoking as a risk factor. But then it’s the same for many other conditions. Some times tobacco causes it, sometimes it’s something else. As it stands I wouldn’t wish the curse of this condition on anyone else so put the info out there.

          • Vicky32

            I have not got access to academic journals – or rather, only those in the fields of literacy and special education..
            I remember a guy who ran a second hand bookshop across the road from Welly hospital telling me that he’d had a guy in who was in meltdown yelling “They told me I have lung cancer, and I have never smoked..”
            Had I been Louis (the bookshop guy) my reaction would probably have been quite rude. What right do you or did that man have to be offended? What makes you think you’re special? I also remember a new age nut job friend I had years ago informing me that my mother’s death from an extremely rare auto immune condition (treatable now, but not when my mother died) was caused by my mother’s “negative attitudes”. People want to believe that illness is a moral failing (you got X disease, it was your fault for doing Y) so that they feel safe. “I don’t do Y, so I won’t get sick”. Understandable but extremely offensive, as I have tried to point out to my health Nazi son. I am not putting that info out there thank you very much! People with RA suffer enough without the guilt trip you self-righteous people want to put on some of them!

            • Rosy

              Ouch, that’s a bit harsh. It’s information not a value judgement, or ‘fault’. And it’s specific. If your son were to consider taking up smoking wouldn’t you want him to know there might be an increased risk for him? Just as if there were a family history of allergies to peanuts, wouldn’t you want them to know so they can make decisions taking into account current knowledge?

              Anyway an example of the research is http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2732897/ I’ve chosen that one simply because it seems to be freeely available, not american and recent

              • Vicky32

                I felt harsh Rosy, and I suppose I still do… Blame is an ugly thing, and that’s what health Nazis, especially of the ASH sort do. My son will never start smoking – I have already stated that he *is* a health nazi – he’s a cardiac nurse.
                There are family histories and I am the only one who knows them, thanks – my parents both died young, of diseases that had nothing to do with smoking – except that as I said above, the Stats dept would probably have listed my father’s death (cardiovascular) as smoking related – what an insult! People don’t take kindly to being told that their fatal condition, or the deaths of their family members are *their own fault* you know! Your lucky harsh was all I was..
                You told me to “put the info out there” but having looked at your link, I am blowed if I know how I am supposed to ‘warn’ anyone.
                “Hey, AJ, do you have distinct DRB1 SE alleles? Then avoid smoking or you might develop ACPA-positive RA.”
                I am sorry, consider me well blinded by science!

    • Did you know that smoke alarms contain Depleted Uranium?

  13. Kyle 13

    I don’t think many people on either side of the political spectrum would support this if it is intending to lead to banning the sale and consumption of tobacco. Tobacco sales will go underground and gangs will profit from selling it.

    Also, who is the government to tell someone that they can smoke or not? Who is the government to say that one should aim to live to 80 years old and not 30 years old?

    Tobacco sales should continue to be legal. However, they should be taxed more heavily, sold in unbranded packaging, hidden from sight in stores – alongside educational campaigns on the effects of smoking and free support to help quit.

    The same should go for all drugs that are only self-harming, i.e. cannabis, ecstasy, LSD. Legalise them, but tax them heavily (but not so the cost is higher than street cost), ban them from display in stores, no branding (perhaps these drugs can only be manufactured by the Crown, which can be done unlike tobacco and alcohol which already have established brands and to abolish those brands would go against our freedoms and civil rights).

    For less harmful drugs that are self-harming only if abused, i.e. alcohol, there should be less stringent rules – they can remain on show in stores and be branded, but education and support programs should be abundant and well funded, and advertising of alcohol should be illegal.

    Steps that improve people’s quality of life and create a more equal society need to be happening simultaneously to liberalised drug laws so that people won’t need drugs to feel happy or have fun, as a good chunk of users currently do.

    • freedom 13.1

      spend a few hours in a womens’ shelter or attend a support group for survivors of violent crime, then come back here and talk about the low impact of alcohol abuse compared to chain-smoking

      a few wisps of second hand smoke or a violent drunk kicking your face in,
      which does the lesser harm agin?

      • Kyle 13.1.1

        Oh I totally agree! But you can’t ban alcohol even though many people abuse it – what about the people that use it wisely? And it would be against your right to freedom of choice etc. We need to fix the culture of substance abuse for every drug. This is not done through banning drugs. Legalise, regulate, educate, tax, ban-advertising, give free 24/7 support, and make it unattractive and socially awkward to smoke, get drunk and abuse drugs.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Freedom of choice is critically important, but so is the Government’s and the medical profession’s duty to encourage people to make the right choices – especially knowing that a lot of people will not make rational choices if left completely unsupported.

    To me this is about an exercise in ‘libertarian’ or ‘soft’ paternalism.

    So don’t ban cigarettes. Follow some of Kyle’s suggestions about making them less present in retail settings, perhaps some kind of licensing arrangement (for smokers or for retailers, not sure, but each kind involving having to pass an education programme), and be much more draconian about discouraging children from picking up the habit.

    As for everyone here who has remarked they are Leftys and they smoke/drink – well smoking and alcohol use are closely correlated with socioeconomic status and ethnicity. The more working class a population is and the less education it has, the more smoking and drinking occurs.

    So have you ever thought that NACT Governments fuss less about alcohol, smoking, and pokies because they know that they are predominantly a tax on the poor and the working class, as well as focussing harms upon on them.

    • Vicky32 14.1

      Not necessarily so… It’s been my observation that health nazis drink like fish, while at the same time condemning smoking. (I remember going to a Thanksgiving party at the house of an ASH hysteric years ago – and the party was completely awash in the nicer more expensive wines…
      OK, some working class people drink, as also some upper income people smoke (such as the RWNJ upper-class twit who is my second ex.)
      But it ain’t the working people I see at the supermarket wheeling out trolleys laden with ‘nice’ wines (always on special!)

    • Thanks CV, that was interesting. hadn’t heard the term before I have to admit. It’s decribed there as:

      the softer kind aims only to skew your decisions, without infringing greatly on your freedom of choice

      I don’t mind in the least being advised what to do; I get very angry when told what to do. I’m in favour of the licensing idea for smokers (see above), for instance, so as to offer complete freedom to those who choose to use at present but to try to phase out the uptake over time.

      Seems eminently reasonable to me.

      So what whacked form of psychological Viagra makes a soft paternalist into a hard one, like so many of those over on KB, Crusader Rabbit etc? 😀

      • mcflock 14.2.1

        why “phase out uptake”?

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Because unless you reject all the studies that show it’s bad for you, and has no redeeming health benefits, then smoking is a worthless and dangerous activity and as a humanitarian I’d prefer not to see my fellow humans killing themselves. But at the same time I don’t want to infringe the rights of those who’ve taken it up.

          Thus a strategy which doesn’t tell you what to do but also removes a harmful option from people not presently exercising the right to use it seems to me to be an acceptable balance between individual rights and harm minimisation.

          Yes, other things are risky too. Some – like vehicle exhausts as discussed above – I’d like to see addressed too. Others, like skydiving, have a far lower participant-to-fatality ratio and a far lower number of participants overall.

          • mcflock

            In some contexts it can be fun. It can be relaxing, especially with regards the ritual involed. And with clear information about content etc, it’s risk can be managed to be less than, say, obesity. Dose/response is an amazing concept.

            The entire point about freedom and choice is that we can decide to take an action that other people might regard as “wrong”. At what point do you have the right, as a humanitarian, to prevent people from doing something that they want to do? Currently tobacco is something like 50/50 chance of early death. This will decrease as the effects of excise tax hikes take hold. When is humanitarianism no longer an acceptable excuse for controlling someone else’s actions? Because VERY soon you get into the territory of exercise and diet, and after that motorbikes or swimming.

            On the plus side, remarkably quickly you get into the territory of being poor, so to be consistent all those ASH folk should really start voting Alliance for a welfare state 🙂

  15. Kleefer 15

    People who want to ban things they don’t like are violent thugs. Judging by a TV3 poll about 60% of New Zealanders are in that category.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      Well, there must have been a lot of “violent thuggery” lately. Cellphones while driving, cold remedies, patches on jackets, etc, etc …

      It’s the Nat-nny State.

  16. freedom 16

    without going too far off topic this does remind me of a statement a sibling made a few years back whilst we were ‘discussing’ my life choices

    Her – “If i ever catch my daughter smoking dope there will be no end of trouble for her, thats the end of the flat, the [credit] cards, the car everything”
    Me- ” so when she gets drunk with her friends?”
    Her- ” she can get as pissed as she likes and spend a weekend hungover but if she touches dope…”

    i then attempted to point out her hypocrisy,
    turns out a successfull, wealthy, intelligent and educated woman can still be myopic in her viewpoint choosing not to see the forest for the trees.

    btw, it didn’t end well and we don’t talk much, all because of intolerance of another’s choice,

    do not kid yourselves folks, this move is about controlling your choices, it is not about your health

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      do not kid yourselves folks, this move is about controlling your choices, it is not about your health

      You know, somebody who has to walk around wheeling an O2 tank and respirator with them everywhere they go, and have to take a rest every 8m or so, THAT is someone who is really out of choices.

    • Vicky32 16.2

      “do not kid yourselves folks, this move is about controlling your choices, it is not about your health”
      Absolutely right! I am reminded of what C S Lewis wrote about the tyranny of those who who want to “help”…

  17. M 17

    Almost everyone has a vice – for most of us we hope it won’t cause too much harm.

    Both my parents were smokers and my brother smokes but I don’t lecture him about it even though I don’t like smoking and have never smoked. He has a permanent spinal injury and I’m sure some days it is one of the few things that offers him a bit of comfort and yes he has tried some pretty way out and new age stuff to give relief to his daily suffering. A smoker I went out with was smart, funny and very kind to others loved to light up but always did so outside. The thing I appreciated about him was that he wasn’t a big drinker as I find excess in that area very unattractive, say more than four drinks in one day, so I guess we all have our deal breakers. Also I was never scared to get into a car with him after he’d had a cigarette.

    I have a caffeine addiction, as in Coke, and realised that too much may give me diabetes so have cut down a lot and hope that my lifelong yen for exercise will go some way to mitigating the effects of imbibing Coke.

    Perhaps another way to push the anti-smoking message is to appeal to people’s vanity and how like compound interest the damage piles on massively in a short space of time later in life. Smoking may seem cool when people are young but if you get a person of 35 who has smoked for 20 years then generally they have very deeply etched nasal-labial folds, railway tracks running across their foreheads and around their eyes, pelican necks and the classic radiating lines around their mouths in their faces with the concomitant leathery skin.

    In short, I think education and hefty taxes are the way with tobacco and alcohol with an emphasis on the very ageing effects of both because you can lead a horse to water ….

  18. freedom 18

    When i posted this response yesterady i had hoped the debate might choose to face the issue

    “spend a few hours in a womens’ shelter or attend a support group for survivors of violent crime, then come back here and talk about the low impact of alcohol abuse compared to chain-smoking

    a few wisps of second hand smoke or a violent drunk kicking your face in,
    which does the lesser harm again?”

    The call to ban smoking, though apparently very straightforward and in many ways a no-brainer, is a lot more complex than the dangers to health, and to health funding. Consider what motives are driving this anti-smoking crusade? A public health policy or a bid to further social control?

    If health was such an issue would not the Government simply reclassify the offending substance
    under the existing Misuse of Drugs Act? Unable to do that owing to the volumes of public data showing the lack of qualatative reasons, they must create a social anathema. Which only begs the question why they choose not to do the same with alcohol.

    It wouldn’t be because alcohol is a chemically addictive depressant that has a clear and necessary role in the advancement of authoritarian social programmes? nah that’s just paranoia!

    next you’ll be telling me they want to build a private prison!

    • Vicky32 18.1


      Quoto al 100% freedom….

    • If health was such an issue would not the Government simply reclassify the offending substance under the existing Misuse of Drugs Act? Unable to do that owing to the volumes of public data showing the lack of qualatative reasons,

      Well I’m still here… though I really should be working. Classification undert the Misuse of Drugs Act would have the effect of crminalising, overnight, thousands of people who are indulging in a previously legal activity. Hardly practical, and would almost certainly be overthrown by the courts. Would also leave the government open to civil suit from the tobacco manufacturers.

      • mcflock 18.2.1

        interesting thought – make tobacco and mj a new drug class (e? 🙂 ) that defines excise levels on commercial production and limits commercial supply to licensed retailers for which admission is R18 in the same kidney as bottle stores. Also defines amounts that indicate “commercial supply”.

        Immediately takes tobacco out of supermarkets and dairies (good for puritans), decriminalises dope (good for hippies) and hopefully will make both of them STFU for a while (good for everyone else).

        Kind’ve semi-joking here – it’ll be interesting to see if the tyres pop when kicked.

        • mcflock

          oh, and I’m sure that the CURRENT government will have no trouble rewriting the law so that the tobacco companies (and “accidentally” unions and workers) won’t be able to launch a civil case. Run it by “Magna Carta, what Magna Carta?” Brownlee.

        • freedom

          wellcome to the world mcflock

          NORML have been lobbying that very point for decades
          and there is the growing proof of medicinal uses

          • mcflock

            Hey, society’s a compromise.

            btw, there’s also growing evidence of schizophrenia, but what the hey.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Here we go:

    National in opposition, fighting the wicked nanny state …

    … steps into a phone box, puts on the cape, and – say hello to National in government: SuperNanny!


    • KJT 19.1

      The right wing have always restricted freedom in far more fundamental ways than the left.
      Just look at the new search and surveillance bill. Better enjoy being able to say what we like on here. It may not last long.

      If people want to drug themselves up that is their lookout. It causes less harm if we regulate and tax it, than if we ban it totally. Money spent on enforcement would be better spent on treatment.

      Harmful effects, though, should not be visited on other members of the public who do not chose to indulge.

      • Rosy 19.1.1

        or the environment
        There are also the environmental aspects (not ETS). Of course everything has an environmental impact, but the cost of growing through to disposal impacts on traditionally left wing/green causes.
        – close to 600 million trees are cut down each year to drive tobacco production (particularly drying tobacco leaves).
        – increases desertification
        – 954 million kilograms of filters — made of thousands nonbiodegradable plastic fibres — were manufactured in 1998 alone, and a British anti-litter group asserts that around 40 percent of litter is cigarette butts.
        – butts washing down stormwater drains are toxic to marine life
        – There are also concerns about overexposure to pesticides leading to depression and suicides in tobacco farmers, but the cause could easily be linked to the high amounts of debt often incurred by tobacco farmers.


        oh and the personal and environmental devistation from the number of fires started by stray cigarette butts.

        It amazes me how people can turn right wing to support an addiction…all of a sudden it’s not about global corps taking profits out of the country, tramping over the rights of workers and lying to their consumers. It’s all about personal rights and socialised costs, complaining about taxes and treating capable researchers as pariahs or ‘nazis’,

        This report may result in legislation to support the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable in society, with the worst health statisitcs in terms of both morbidity and mortality. I don’t see it mentioning banning cigarettes.

        • Vicky32

          Rosy, you are not just a sweet puzzled innocent victim of RA are you? You’re an out and out ASH campaigner! Sympathy withdrawn, sorry…
          It’s not being right wing, you silly mare, it’s being sick of being trashed and bullied by the self-righteous.
          “This report may result in legislation to support the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable in society, with the worst health statisitcs in terms of both morbidity and mortality.”
          How paternalistic you are! Tell me, would favour restrictions on alcohol? If not, you are a hypocrite.

          • Rosy

            1. I’m not a victim, nor puzzled. Sweet and innocent? – for me to know 😉
            2. I’m not and ASH campaigner, if I was I’d agree with banning smoking. Which isn’t what I’m saying here. I’m agreeing with the post. That’s all.
            4. Paternalistic? No, but I do support public health measures if the evidence supports them. And I dislike buying into PR bull sh*t from people that have a product to sell and who will see their profits affected if those measures come into effect.
            5. The debate is about smoking. But yes, I do support restrictions on alcohol producers, sponsorship and advertising and access. Just as this report is suggesting for smoking.

            • mcflock

              hmmm – you support the concept that alcohol products shoun’t be allowed instore displays and must have at least 50% of their packaging devoted to pretty pictures of diseased livers?

              • Rosy

                I support restrictions on alcohol producers, sponsorship and advertising and access. If the research says pic of diseased livers is the most effective way to reduce the drinking toll who am I to say no? It’s hypothetical though.

                • Vicky32

                  So stopping alcohol-related tragedies is “only hypothetical”. Why? I am not going to be popular for saying this, but I am thoroughly against the ridiculously free access to alcohol we have here at present. (I had a family member *die* very recently as a direct result of alcohol, and yes, Rosy I am going to piss you off greatly by saying, truthfully, that I have *never* had anyone in my family, or any friend, die of any smoking related condition – I mean of course genuinely smoking related, not just the cardiovascular disease that according to my health nazi son is always defined as smoking related even when it provably isn’t.)
                  As a guy wrote in the Herald 10 years back (he would not be allowed to say it now) “no one ever crashed a car, or shot his family while under the influence of a pack of cigarettes.
                  Yes, Rosy, you are paternalistic, whether you like it or not.

                  • Rosy

                    No, whether I will support pictures of diseased livers on bottles of wine is hypothetical Jeez.
                    And as of stories of cigarettes – your son is right cardiovascular disease from smoking causes more deaths than lung cancer from smoking. There’s lots of research to show this. I’d link but academic journals are too complicated for you and popular sites too untrustworthy or ‘american’. so you can google it if you want to check. Try the HSC site for starters.

                    Cigarette stories – I can give you one. How about a fire started by a cigarette down the back of the couch? one person dies the other is burnt to a crisp and in hospital for 2 years and more than 30 skin grafts, physio, deafness from the atntibiotics required to stop the burns infecting. Between the 2 they had 11 children. Do you know what the survivor asked for when her children saw her in hospital the first time? (she’s become addicted while using them for stress while waiting for the brutal drunken fights when her husband got home from work) . While absolutely vibrating from shock, bloated by the reaction to the burns and skin literally peelingof her body, one of her kids had to hold a cigarette to her mouth so she could get her fix.

                    She lived – on ACC for decades. Still requires ops as the scars impede the movement of joints, assistance for her deafness and much, much more. Do you think the taxes on the cigs covered the taxpayer costs for this and the 11 kids of the 2 people involved?

                    Oh and when she finally did stop smoking 9 years later they found the lung cancer. Got it early and she lived through that too! She’s now a superannuitant – no savings of course, that went out with the fire.

                    And just in case you think this story is anecdotal. It’s not. That is my mother I’m writing about.

                    • Vicky32

                      Rosy, dear, what a witch you are proving to be, with your spiteful comment about academic journals! I have no medical training, so how was I supposed to interpret the site you linked to?
                      Obviously, you just skimmed my post, or you’d know that I was referring to cardiovascular disease that affects and has affected both sides of my family for generations – from children to old people. Relate that to smoking! (Although I am sure in your head you can come up with a reason why the smokers and the non-smokers alike, have it… from childhood!)
                      OK, I am sorry to hear about your mother. That is a terrible story. I would like to ask about the “brutal drunken” part of the story – I had an ex husband who behaved similarly.
                      That’s the damage alcohol does. Goodness knows, if smoking was all he did, we might still be married and I’d still have had the son he took from me.

                    • Rosy

                      Vicki32 (below)
                      re ‘popular’ sites:
                      “By the way, Rosy, I followed your link and feel obliged to point out that an assertion is not evidence. (Also, I tend to be put off by that site in particular and by any site that gives the incidence of something *only* in the USA. FFS, who cares how many Americans get this or that?”

                      Re journals:
                      “You told me to “put the info out there” but having looked at your link, I am blowed if I know how I am supposed to ‘warn’ anyone.
                      “Hey, AJ, do you have distinct DRB1 SE alleles? Then avoid smoking or you might develop ACPA-positive RA.”
                      I am sorry, consider me well blinded by science!”

                      Your words. Not mine, and if you read some of the stuff your son is telling you about you’ll find that in no way to researchers say smoking causes all cardio-vascular events. The are usually worded in terms of increased likelihood.

                    • mcflock

                      Right, now that it’s been demonstrated that neither side has a monopoly on grief, it seems that there is an issue between population-based medical research and that recorded in each case.

                      Current tobacco use patterns (or, more accurately, the tobacco use patterns that people established about 20 years ago that contribute to their conditions now) account for (off the top of my head because I’m lazy and it’s a friday night and I deal with epi data during the day so my brain doesn’t want to touch it now) roughly half of NZ heart disease cases and 90% of lung cancers.

                      But everyone who gets lung cancer (and their relatives and doctors) looks to the pub they went to which was smokey, and forget about the coal-smoke pollution in their suburb or the diesel smoke they inhaled occupationally. I had an uncle who dropped dead in his forties. Was it the smoking that was responsible, or the fact that he was overly fond of lard sandwiches? Or a combination? And, at the time, did he know the actual risk of the lifestyle he was choosing and make his choice, or was he mislead by businesses who minimised the risk?

                      The fact is that the perceived risk of tobacco is greater than the actual risk, and if tobacco use was looked at rationally elimination would not be the objective.

                    • Vicky32

                      For some reason I can’t reply directly to your spiteful missive below, but in what way does what you quoted make me wrong? I said I was blinded by science, as of course I was – I don’t have medical training, so how am I supposed to interpret the site you linked to? No, I still accuse you of witchery.
                      Allow me to know my own son better than you do. He doesn’t talk about “increased likelihood” at all, he talks in absolutes. Either because he believes it, or because he’s “blinding me with science”, either way there are reasons why I cringe when confronted with a health nazi…
                      Nice of you also, to try to make me look bad by selectively quoting what I said about sites that give only the American incidence of something. Their environment had beenscarily polluted for decades to an extent that renders American figures actually irrelevant, or do you consider environmental issues unimportant? Word to the wise – therefore give New Zealand figures if you have them, or world-wide…
                      However, I am fed up with discussing this with you. I well understand that you have emotional reasons for feeling as strongly as you do… as do I for feeling the way I do. I hate that people are being made to feel guilty when they are not, as if by not doing X or doing Y they could have avoided Z disease “if only they were as clever, good or middle class as I am” … I hate that there’s so much hypocrisy about smoking versus drinking, when alcohol causes much more damage to the individual and to society, and also so much denial about the evil alcohol can cause.
                      I am also not best pleased that in a good cause, anti-smokers ‘gild the lily’, and in some cases downright lie, scaring the living daylights out of people for what they think is a good reason, but believe me, there is never a good reason to lie.

    • freedom 19.2

      they have 90 days and they don’t even wait 90 hours to give the impression of fair consideration

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