Editorial: Time to renew the war on smokingThe war against tobacco needs to be renewed. It is now clear that New Zealand will not reach its target of being smokefree by 2025 without tougher measures. But will the government do what is needed?
My response published in Letters & Points today unedited:
The idea that New Zealand will one day be smoke-free (Time for courage in war on smoking, DomPost, April 22) is absurd. For the best part of last century the government fought a spectacularly unsuccessful war on cannabis.
As you note, it is the poorest people who are the heaviest smokers. Maori mothers feature disproportionately. In the near future you are likely to deliver us another pious sermon about societal responsibility for child poverty, yet today you demand the government continue to ramp up already astronomical tobacco taxes.
It is impossible not to know that smoking foreshortens lives but some still choose to indulge. To continue to financially punish these people isn't courageous - its cruel.