'Just no' – Ardern laughs off question about Winston Peters' smoking habit

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern laughed off a question about Winston Peters’ smoking habit while on the campaign trail in Palmerston North today.

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Peters was earlier caught off guard by a voter in Taupō asking him about his propensity for a puff. Source: 1 NEWS

Ardern was asked if she'd ever "had a chat" with Peters about his smoking.

"I really appreciate you think that would be the case," she said with a laugh before adding, "just no".

The question came after the NZ First leader was earlier today caught off guard by a voter in Taupō asking him about his propensity for a puff.

At the conclusion of his lakeside media stand-up, Peters, who was recently caught smoking on the smokefree Otago University campus, was confronted by a man in a red beanie.

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The NZ First’s political opponents may need to take tips from the man, who briefly silenced Peters while he was campaigning today. Source: 1 NEWS

“Don’t tell me you’re going to start up smoking. I saw you smoking on TV,” the man tells Peters.

Video of the exchange shows the pair engage in a brief back-and-forth over whether it was a question or statement, before Peters finally responds.

“If I was [smoking], it’s my business. It’s a freedom issue, mate,” Peters replies.

“I didn’t come along and ask you what you’re doing lately.”

The man replied: “It’s bad, though."

Peters shot back: “Yeah, I know it’s bad, and our job is to make sure New Zealanders get off it. There are sound plans to do that, very shortly, in two hours’ time I’ll unveil our plan in Tūrangi.

“In front of your cuzzies down there.”

The bystander then got in a rare last word with the longtime politician. 

“I hope you don’t do it again,” he said.

The man then snapped a selfie to mark the conversation.

NZ First later put out a statement,backing ASH's strategy to make alternatives to smoking affordable and widely available.

“New Zealand First will lower tobacco excise so that the average pack of cigarettes is no more than $20, remove tax from smoking cessation tools, and put a stop to the belief that what we’re doing is working,” said Peters.