More on plain packaging

September 5th, 2012 at 6:37 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A new study has discredited the tobacco industry’s assertion that there is no proof on cigarette packs reduces the appeal of smoking.

How can you discredit something, that hasn’t been asserted? This is a classic red herring.

As far as I have observed no one disputes that numerous surveys have shown smokers say they find branded packs more appealing than plain packs. This study has reached the same conclusion as several others. It is nothing new.

Scientists from Canada, the United States and Brazil conducted a study of 640 young Brazilian women to determine if cigarettes had the same appeal when presented in plain packaging.

“The women in this study rated branded packs as more appealing, more stylish and sophisticated than the plain packs,” said study leader David Hammond of the University of Waterloo, Canada.

I am sure they do.

However the key question is not about whether packaging makes a particular brand of cigarettes more appealing, but whether plain packaging will reduce the proportion of people who smoke or the amount people smoke. And as far as I can see this research does not answer that question.

I personally welcome effective anti-smoking measures. I do regard tobacco as different to alcohol. Around 95% of the smokers I know want to give up smoking, and have tried to do so. None of my friends who are drinkers want to give up drinking alcohol (except for that 48 to 72 hour period after a big night out).

With plain packaging I can accept the argument that until you try it, you will never be able to measure its effectiveness. But this is an argument to trial it, not to implement it blindly.  A plain packaging requirement does create a precedent, and already some advocate it should also apply to alcoholic drinks and even to fast food. That slope might get very slippery.  Any decision to introduce it should be based on proven success at reducing smoking – not hope.

There are two ways it can be trialled. One is to let another country do it first, such as Australia, and see what happens. However that will only work if Australia doesn’t implement any other measures at the same time. If they put up the excise tax also, then it will not be possible to know if any reduction in smoking rates is due to the excise tax increase (which has proven success) or plain packaging.

So my preference again is to have a geographic trial in New Zealand, such as have plain packaging in the South Island for a two year trial. Then measure any change in the smoking rates and quantity of tobacco sold in both the North and the South Island, and see if the South Island change is statistically significant.

This would be a win-win. If it shows there is a statistically significant difference, then that trial will be used globally as evidence to introduce plain packaging. If the trial shows no significant difference, then New Zealand avoids implementing a measure that sets a disturbing precedent and doesn’t actually achieve anything.

UPDATE:

A reader has sent me this, which is a graphic of the current packs used in Brazil. They are vastly different to those currently allowed in NZ. No rotting eyeballs and the like on the packs. It is a no brainer that people will say those packs are attractive. That is, as stated above, a different question to whether they may more people smoke, or smokers smoke more. And as NZ packs look nothing like the above, using the results to argue for a change in NZ is silly.

Again – I am not against plain packaging if it works in reducing the number of people who smoke, or the amount people smoke. I just want any decision to be based on a proper scientifically conducted trial with a control group.

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47 Responses to “More on plain packaging”

  1. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    The cigarettes can be transferred to a stylish cigarette packet, branded even. What is to stop that I ask? Plain packaging is a stupid idea. Put the excise tax up considerably like by $15-20 a packet.

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  2. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Plain packaging: another nanny state measure to placate the tobacco-nazis.

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  3. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    As a lifetime NON SMOKER who abhors the practice, and most definitely NOT in the pay of “big tobacco,” I worry about these surveys and the science that they are designed to “defend.”
    There is a distrubing similarity between the cult-like zeal of the AGW/CC adherents and the anti-tobacco brigade.

    An anecdot
    I rcently underwent emergency abdominal surgery. In both the evaluation and post operative windows I was persistently bombarded with the questions:
    “Do you smoke?
    “Have you ever smoked?”

    It got so bad that eventually I demanded paper, pen and sellotape. I wrote “I do not smoke. I have never smoked. Do I make myself clear?”

    A smart alec registrar copped it between the ears when he ignored the message that I had pinned above my bed. I received an apology, but it illustrates an unhealthy MoH fixation with this matter, does it not?

    But a question:
    Given that smoking has declined dramatically in the past 60 years, has there been a corresponding DECLINE in cancer (et al) rates?

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  4. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    The fact that this is even a matter of discussion is yet another piece of evidence that GOVERNMENT has grown far too big for it boots.

    Government is like a necrotic tumour that grows and grows and grows uncontrollably spreading its tentacles into every aspect of ordinary peoples life, and sucking the life out of everything.

    And God help us all National is worse than Labour in this regard.

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  5. dave_c_ (217 comments) says:

    So DPF – you would be a supporter of ‘trialling’ plain packaged alcohol (a la your comment which indicates this is one option) – some would say (and not yet proven) that this would reduce the road toll – if not, isnt this a case of Pot / kettle / black ?

    [DPF: No. See my post about the difference between tobacco and alcohol.]

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  6. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I guess we have to hope old Whisky Groser doesn’t trade our sovereign right to govern so we can have plain packaging.

    Good on Australia for fighting and winning.

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  7. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    The question is,are we prepared to give up more and more freedom to ever growing government interference in private and business life?

    Isn’t it interesting how so many people bleat on about equality,but are then all anxious about how women see the world ,adn spend and vote?

    The sexes are very different and should stay that way.

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  8. Lance (2,565 comments) says:

    @flipper
    Snap… exactly the same thing happened to me (even the abdominal emergency :-) ). The only difference I had to be re-admitted with complications except this time my records mysteriously had been changed to show that I had been a life long smoker. I shit you not 30 protests of inaccurate data later I was still being lectured by all insundry… ahhhhhh.

    Took 4 months to get the records changed.

    The other thing that pissed me off was I had been dosed up with Morphine when I was admitted to the ward and some shit head of a nurse accused me of being drunk FFS!!!!! where to they get these people from?

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  9. marcw (238 comments) says:

    So explain this to me:

    Petrol companies advertise heavily to get me to … use more petrol???
    Power companies advertise heavily on TV to get me to … use more electricity???

    Have you ever been tempted to start smoking by seeing someone buying a packet of fags at the supermarket?
    No, me neither.

    It’s called market share people – so get a life and move on.

    FFS, the country has more important things to work on than plain packages, gay marriage, who owns water or air and so on.

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  10. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Let people smoke who want to and fuck off out of their faces…..mmm?

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  11. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    National Party founding principle-

    “to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

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  12. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    DPF,

    However the key question is not about whether packaging makes a particular brand of cigarettes more appealing, but whether plain packaging will reduce the proportion of people who smoke or the amount people smoke.

    Nope that isn’t the “key” question. This question presupposes that it is the government’s job to control our lifestyle and to modify our behaviour. While it’s generally accepted the government can seek to modify behaviour which is harmful to others, making it their purpose to modify our behaviour for our own good is another thing entirely.

    The key question is only whether they are paying their fair share in tax: tax to account for any indirect expenditure related to the activity and not simply as a means to control our lives.

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  13. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    The Scorned (343) Says:
    September 5th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    +1

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  14. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    There must be some cost savings from putting your products in plain packaging. I wonder if this will help the manufacturers drop their prices?

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  15. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    Smoking is so gay.

    can I bum a fag mate?” sure, but make sure you use protection! :D

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  16. kowtow (7,953 comments) says:

    Price mechanism and tobacco? Fark, it’s practically all tax!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “While it’s generally accepted the government can seek to modify behaviour which is harmful to others, making it their purpose to modify our behaviour for our own good is another thing entirely.”

    That is nonsense. Typical bat shit crazy Randian crap that has so many logic holes it is laughable.

    There is only one criterion that need apply to answer the kind of totalitarian bullshit behind moves like this and that is SMALL GOVERNMENT.

    Keep government small, keep government payrolls small, and then the fucking arseholes don’t have the time to interfere.

    Convoluted and internalised philosophical arguments will get you nowhere with busy and preoccupied mainstream voters.

    Small government is a simple message anyone can understand.

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  18. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    I have occasion to work in the Health Department at times. I’m always surprised at how many of their staff appear to engage in unhealthy behaviour (smoking, being fat etc). I always imagine that if I was health minister I’d start off by telling my department that I wasn’t prepared to support any program that wasn’t first demonstrated to work within the health department itself. Surely given that these people are the smartest health people in NZ, and know more about what’s good for the population than anyone else in NZ, they’d be taking their own advice. If they aren’t, then stands to reason their advice is shit, or that we’re wasting money attempting to change something that cannot be changed. I mean, if they can’t even convince themselves, they can hardly convince the rest of the population.

    In short, until the Health Department is full of fit and healthy hard body types, I’m choosing not to believe anything they say.

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  19. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “I wonder if this will help the manufacturers drop their prices?”

    Jesus fucking Christ on a bike, how fucking obtuse can you get?????

    RRM, the flag bearer on Kiwiblog for a section of dumbfuck half educated NZers who won’t be happy until they’ve driven every productive company and every independent NZer offshore and this country is reduced to an economic basket case like Spain and or Greece.

    You brain damaged commie arseholes are a plague a million times worse than locusts.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48889555

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  20. alloytoo (468 comments) says:

    While I don’t buy into the argument that intellectual property rights should trump national health concerns, I do have concerns about plain packaging for the consumer.

    If the consumer has the legal right to consume a toxic substance, should we infringe on his rights to weigh up and choose a brand?

    I mean, by the time he’s actually gotten to the counter, in the absence of signage and advertising, to order his fags, and given the health warnings prevailant on the packet, is the absense of a logo going to deter his suicide mission?

    The above not withstanding, in any other industry ‘also’ products, products without any distinguishing branding, be they padlocks or clothing or food, typically sell without a premium. Without branding or marketing costs cigarettes are going to become cheaper and therefore more accessable to the cash strapped youth.

    Seems like an own goal in the making.

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  21. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    If there ever was any product that should be forced to carry a health warning that product is SOCIALISM.

    The poverty it eventually results in has killed more citizens than tobacco ever will.

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  22. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    That being the case Red, how the hell do we do anything about it? as far as I can tell, the western world has taken upon a certain way of doing things and it looks like it will run it’s course. History doesn’t show a lot of cases of a civilisation realising the error of it’s ways and turning in a new direction (in time any way).

    Quite frankly, I think the socialist tendencies we have is in no small part due to the abuse of the capitalist system, parasites always infect a sick host more efficiently.

    Big tobacco is as much a parasite on society as anything else, though, if people buy their crap willingly then I guess they are a legitimate parasite.

    But you don’t have to be a socialist to call it how it is or have a dislike for such practice.

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  23. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    I would much rather people smoked cigarettes than weed or take even worse drugs, which I wonder if they are doing more readily because of the demonisation of smoking. I don’t smoke myself and have never wanted to, but find this obsession with smoking as the great evil (the indoctrination in schools against it is amazing, and yet sex is something that you can do when you are ready for it!) just bizarre.

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  24. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “Big tobacco is as much a parasite on society as anything else, though, if people buy their crap willingly then I guess they are a legitimate parasite.”

    See, this is exactly the kind of six of one half a dozen of another bullshit we don’t need.

    You’re either for private enterprise and capitalism or against it. The cigarette industry is either a parasite or an industry due the freedom that capitalism should provide it.

    Which is it?

    Its your kind of indecision that gives the commies their foothold in our society.

    ..and well said Lucia, at the root of this problem is the assumption that government has the right to use resources to shape the thinking of its citizens, a belief that opens Pandora’s box on government reach.

    Never should have happened.

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  25. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    @ lance, 8.54

    Good Tsuff. Hope you gave them ‘aholes. I have found that ASSERTIVENESS and a demand for full name details works wonders.

    @redbaiter
    The National Party Constitution does NOT state that. Go read pp 3 and 4.

    Close , but no cigar!

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  26. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    A QUESTION I ASKED AT 7.41am

    Given that smoking has declined dramatically in the past 60 years, has there been a corresponding DECLINE in cancer (et al) rates?

    Quelle ??????

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  27. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Jesus fucking Christ on a bike, how fucking obtuse can you get?????

    RRM, the flag bearer on Kiwiblog for a section of dumbfuck half educated NZers who won’t be happy until they’ve driven every productive company and every independent NZer offshore and this country is reduced to an economic basket case like Spain and or Greece.

    Who ripped your dick off?

    I wasn’t suggesting the manufacturers should do so, much less that Nanny State should force them to.

    In fact I would find it quite amusing, if a Govt attempt at obstructing tobacco sales, ended up inadvertently reducing the makers’ manufacturing costs, allowing them to sharpen up their pricing, and thereby making smoking easier than before.

    But you’re such a slathering, angry little hater that all that just went straight over your head. Dumb fuck.

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  28. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “The National Party Constitution does NOT state that”

    No one said anything about the National Party Constitution, written comparatively recently by Labour light commies who have infiltrated the party and made it a shadow of what it once was.. Learn to fucking read and learn some basic comprehension and don’t waste my time with your half arsed uneducated bullshit. (another outcome of socialism, uneducated people by the fucking thousands)

    The deliberate undermining of the National Party’s original founding principles by turncoat left wingers infiltrating the party is the political event that is most to blame for NZ’s sorry condition today.

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  29. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    Its your kind of indecision that gives the commies their foothold in our society.

    What am I supposed to do? support an industry that I feel is outdated and immoral?

    I can’t stand the thought police in this country, but I will be damned if I am going to support another system that is seeking to exploit society all be it in a slightly different manner.

    Private enterprise is extremely important, but it is just as prone to abuse as any other human construct, it requires maintenance.

    Personally, I think we need to understand how we got to the point where western ideals are so easily pushed aside, and I am pointing the finger at greed, unjust exploitation and a loss of ideals.

    When a worker earns his pay, everyone truly committed to free enterprise and justice should be glad to give it to him.

    This is where the decline of the west began in my opinion, a loss of true justice.

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  30. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    The Nation that became the United States was founded on tobacco – it was the raison d’etre for the colonies in Virginia

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  31. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “This is where the decline of the west began in my opinion, a loss of true justice.”

    No it began with wooly thinkers like you who set aside long lasting principle for momentary political convenience.

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  32. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    I hate smoking. I abhor it. But for almost all my life I have been able to distance myself from people who do it. It doesn’t affect me. Leave these smokers alone for fuck’s sake. They should be given a ciggie loyalty card – tenth packet free. They pay huge amounts of tax on their habit, they don’t smoke in any numbers anywhere I am going and have the good graces to generally die young before they consume twenty years of old age pension. Leave the buggers alone and stop trying to live their lives.

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  33. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    No it began with wooly thinkers like you who set aside long lasting principle for momentary political convenience.

    Well, the thing is Red, every time someone earns their pay and doesn’t get it (or all of it), the capitalist system gets weaker and another potential socialist is born. Being a conservative used to be as much about justice and truth as it did about capitalism and free enterprise.

    Without justice, the capitalist system is just another oppressive human ideology.

    We are being invaded because the walls were not maintained, the socialists didn’t have to fight very hard to get in.

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  34. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Stand up at the next National Party conference Wedbaiter and tell them what their core principles SHOULD be.

    I’m sure that once they hear your ideas, you will be all-hailed as a genius and immediately be put in charge as their chief election strategist. :lol:

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  35. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “We are being invaded because the walls were not maintained,”

    Shunda, you don’t get it mate.

    The reason the left are winning is because you fell for their bullshit and allowed them to convince you that government had a role far outside that it was originally conceived to fill.

    Every time you ask government to address some perceived injustice, or to legislate for equality, you are giving it a bigger role in our lives and much greater power.

    Government has no such role. It is their to keep records, to administer basic law and order, and to run an armed forces division to defend the realm.

    Everything else, from legislation on child care, to assaults on tobacco companies, to government health care and education is crap that IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN and should never have happened.

    Jesus christ, the outcomes of this foolishness are staring you in the face right now with most of the western world about to plunge into an abyss of economic collapse due to governments over reaching.

    What will it take to wake you and other socialists up..?????????????????????????????????

    Plain paper packaging on cigarettes while we’re on the verge of a complete and utter financial disaster..???

    For fucks fucking sake.

    Why are we even thinking about such worthless crap???

    Especially right now.

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  36. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “Stand up at the next National Party conference Wedbaiter and tell them what their core principles SHOULD be.”

    Get an education dumbarse AND IT MIGHT STOP YOU FROM MISUNDERSTANDING EVERY SIMPLE POINT and thereby wasting other commenter’s time with half baked nonsense.

    Those ALREADY ARE the National Party’s founding principles, conceived by Sid Holland when he started the party. To wit-

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

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  37. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Wedbaiter:
    Get an education dumbarse AND IT MIGHT STOP YOU FROM MISUNDERSTANDING EVERY SIMPLE POINT and thereby wasting other commenter’s time with half baked nonsense.

    It’s funny that you write that, barely a few comments below your very intemperate and ill-considered response to my observation on packaging costs and unintended consequences of Government meddling! :-P

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  38. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    The reason the left are winning is because you fell for their bullshit and allowed them to convince you that government had a role far outside that it was originally conceived to fill.

    Hey, I’m listening, but please realise that I have lived under this system my whole adult life (I’m mid thirties), I’ve never seen anything different.

    Every time you ask government to address some perceived injustice, or to legislate for equality, you are giving it a bigger role in our lives and much greater power.

    I can’t disagree with that and see where you are coming from, it just seems like the combined efforts of aunty Helen and uncle John have created something very difficult to change.
    Maybe you’re right, maybe I am a bit brainwashed by this crap, but how the hell do you escape it?

    Why are we even thinking about such worthless crap???

    Especially right now.

    Well I agree there, it is incredible that people aren’t more concerned about real issues at present. There are historical precedents for exactly our situation, unfortunately, history records some pretty ugly conclusions from here on in.

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  39. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (634) Says:
    September 5th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    “While it’s generally accepted the government can seek to modify behaviour which is harmful to others, making it their purpose to modify our behaviour for our own good is another thing entirely.”

    That is nonsense. Typical bat shit crazy Randian crap that has so many logic holes it is laughable.

    There is only one criterion that need apply to answer the kind of totalitarian bullshit behind moves like this and that is SMALL GOVERNMENT.

    Keep government small, keep government payrolls small, and then the fucking arseholes don’t have the time to interfere.

    Convoluted and internalised philosophical arguments will get you nowhere with busy and preoccupied mainstream voters.

    Small government is a simple message anyone can understand.

    I’m not trying to get somewhere with mainstream voters. If that was my purpose my first mistake would be thinking it can be done through the comments section of someone else’s blog.

    But I do think people respond to reason, and I don’t think barking commands at people such as “Small Government!” is particularly effective unless they already possess the predisposition towards that point of view.

    Moreover, while it is understandable, it is ambiguous. Small? How small? It’s easy for people to criticize certain aspects of government intervention whilst expecting that their own benefits to go untouched, and such contradictions are easily concealed behind vague and ambiguous slogans. “Keep your goddamn government hands off my medicare!” is the natural result of this type of political campaign.

    Rand may be wrong about a lot of things, but I think she was right that what people need is more philosophy. They need the tools to be able to think, they need to act on reason rather than blind feeling otherwise they’ll get nowhere. They’ll simply be led by whatever foaming-at-the-mouth crazy person beats a drum and demands they get in line.

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  40. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “Rand may be wrong about a lot of things, but I think she was right that what people need is more philosophy.”

    Yeah well the Libertarian Party has been such an overwhelming success following this strategy right?

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  41. calendar girl (1,203 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda @ 11:11 – “What am I supposed to do? support an industry that I feel is outdated and immoral? I can’t stand the thought police in this country, but I will be damned if I am going to support another system that is seeking to exploit society all be it in a slightly different manner.”

    With great respect for your obvious distaste of smoking (which is shared by many), Shunda, nobody expects you to “support” the tobacco industry, or the fast food industry, or the sex industry, or the pay television industry – to name but a few of thousands of business-sector possibilities. The point being made is that it is not the place of the state to use resources extracted from taxpayers to “shape the thinking of its citizens” (thanks for that spot-on expression, RB) or to curtail selectively the otherwise legal activities of legitimate businesses.

    If we allow the state to tax us forcibly so that the state’s hired hands can then run targeted little crusades against people’s thinking and legal behaviour, we are creating a monster that will not easily be got back into its cage. Ultimately we will become subject to despotic rule, notwithstanding a residual thin veneer of electoral democracy. As a country, NZ is already well down that track.

    You see, the state has the power – legislatively, if it can raise the parliamentary numbers – to ban the manufacture, importation, sale and consumption of tobacco. It chooses not to. Ever thought “why” when you worry openly about parasites? You should, I suggest.

    As an example of the drift towards unbridled power, I was saddened this morning to hear Tariana Turia speaking on radio about her wish to reduce the tax-free allowance from 250 to 50 cigarettes on products brought in from overseas by travelers. I don’t have the exact quote, but I froze when she said that it was a good thing that such a change could be made without the need for legislation – presumably by Order in Council (= Ministerial decree). That’s an unwitting demonstration of how some Ministers choose to think in Government – how they can order things, ban things or tax things without even having to go to the trouble of their proposals being examined in Parliament.

    It’s not about tobacco, Shunda – it never has been. The real issue that we need to be truly concerned about is the loss of our democratic sovereignty at the hands of a narrow elite in Wellington who seek to control and shape every aspect of our lives. We should not so much be seeking to “support” an individual industry as to defend our market economy against insidious erosion by a Big Government structure that we have allowed to develop.

    I am not a smoker.

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  42. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (636) Says:
    September 5th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    “Rand may be wrong about a lot of things, but I think she was right that what people need is more philosophy.”

    Yeah well the Libertarian Party has been such an overwhelming success following this strategy right?

    Rand despised the libertarians:

    The trouble with the world today is philosophical: only the right philosophy can save us. But this party plagiarizes some of my ideas, mixes them with the exact opposite—with religionists, anarchists and every intellectual misfit and scum they can find—and call themselves libertarians and run for office.



    The “libertarians” . . . plagiarize Ayn Rand’s principle that no man may initiate the use of physical force, and treat it as a mystically revealed, out-of-context absolute . . . .

    In the philosophical battle for a free society, the one crucial connection to be upheld is that between capitalism and reason. The religious conservatives are seeking to tie capitalism to mysticism; the “libertarians” are tying capitalism to the whim-worshipping subjectivism and chaos of anarchy. To cooperate with either group is to betray capitalism, reason, and one’s own future.

    The failure of libertarians to make any real headway would seem to support Rand’s view of them. On the other hand her own publications have sold millions of copies.

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  43. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    And Calender Girl has nailed it!!!! Right on the money

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  44. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    Yep well said Calendar Girl.

    Beautiful.

    (from another non-smoker)

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  45. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    Thanks for your response Calender Girl, you have given me much to ponder.

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  46. Steve (North Shore) (4,524 comments) says:

    “The real issue that we need to be truly concerned about is the loss of our democratic sovereignty at the hands of a narrow elite in Wellington who seek to control and shape every aspect of our lives.”
    Well said calendar girl.
    I smoked for over 40 years, gave up because of spinal fusion surgery healing. I don’t miss it, I don’t mind the smoke from those who do smoke – it does not bother me.
    So all of the antismoking people should just fuck off, they are paying taxes that I would otherwise have to pay. And don’t start that costs bullshit, the smoker pays for Health Services well over and above the non-smokers. Actually you could say the non smoker bludges off the smoker’s taxes :)
    Give it up if you wish, but do it for yourself, not because some interfering mind control freak wants to pass a Law to ban tobacco and ban you smoking

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  47. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    The basic trouble is that without wars to kill off the surplus we are procreating so much …isn’t sex fun :-) …. that it is inevitable that we will need more and more government to control the burgening population.

    SO if you want less government you are going to have to stop procreating … it is that simple … there are too many human beings on earth for there to be less government.

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