Anti-smoking proposals

The Herald reports:

A proposal to license tobacco retailers and turn cigarette packs into plain packages bearing only health warnings has found strong support.

Now when I read that, I think of opinion polls and assume people have been talking to members of the public at large. But reading on we find:

In planning for the “end game” of widespread tobacco use, researchers canvassed public health physicians, policy officials in the Ministry of Health and other departments, and journalists.

I don’t think canvassing public health physicians, policy officials and journalists is the same as canvassing the public.

It’s like canvassing gang members in Wanganui on the gang patch ban, and concluding there is strong opposition to it.

I’m not actually against sensible initiatives that seek to reduce the incidence of . But I urge caution against concluding that because policy officials think something is a good idea, that means the public will agree.

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