Smokefree activist says a ban on cigarettes would be premature: 'You make criminals of people previously addicted'

Banning cigarettes in New Zealand would be a premature and unjust step for those already addicted, a smoke-free activist says after calls for the government to take that drastic move.

Health experts this week judged the government's goal of a smoke free country by 2025 as unrealistic, and only achievable by banning smoking.

Action for Smokefree Atearoa's Boyd Broughton said there are a number of steps that need to be taken before New Zealand as a country considers banning smoking. 

"There's probably a few things we need to do beforehand, and one of them is we need to discriminate against tobacco with legislation," Mr Broughton said.

"We need to make it unpalatable, we need to make it unaffordable, and we need to make sure that the nicotine levels inside it are lowered so that it's less addictive."

Mr Broughton said alternatives such as gums, patches, lozenges, and vapes need to become more attractive, affordable and more accessible to communities.

While agreeing the goal of a smoke free New Zealand by 2025 was not going to happen on existing trends, Mr Broughton said an abrupt ban on cigarettes was too drastic.

"The problem with banning something is that if it's legal and then one day it's banned you make criminals of people who were previously addicted to it and that's the issue that we face if we make it illegal immediately," Mr Broughton said.

"So there needs to be steps in place, build up the country's resilience and resistance."

Mr Broughton also highlighted the fact Maori are twice as high in smoking rates than the rest of New Zealand.

"The main reason is that they were unfairly targeted by the tobacco industry in the 1980s and 1970s, and they were saturated," he said.

"Even a recently as last decade ago there was still heavier marketing, heavier retail outlets of tobacco in those communities, those poor brown communities than there were say in Ponsonby."

That’s in response to health experts who say banning cigarettes is the only way NZ will reach the smoke free by 2025 goal. Source: Breakfast

MOST
POPULAR STORIES


House sales drop nationwide, September figures lowest since 2011

The number of new houses listed on market in July meant the number of sales nationwide in September dropped by three per cent, year on year, REINZ says.

That is the lowest number of properties sold in a month since January this year, and the lowest for the month of September since 2011.

REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell said July's listings were down 5.4 per cent year on year and there was an all-time low level of listings in seven regions.

"There simply weren't as many properties for sale resulting in a very quiet start to spring," Ms Norwell said.

While volumes were down, prices were up in many parts of the country, apart from Auckland, which was steady.

Source: 1 NEWS

In total, 14 of 16 regions saw an increase or no change in the median sale price, with Taranaki and the West Coast seeing a slight drop.

Prices in Northland, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui and Nelson are now at or equal to their record high median price.

"With our population growth and demand for properties continuing to exceed the supply of housing stock, prices are likely to continue increasing in the short to medium term," Ms Norwell said.

"In fact, new research issued by AUT earlier this week suggested that at our current rate of supply we won't reach demand until the mid-to-late 2020s.

"This means that price pressure could well be an issue for some time – particularly in our more densely populated cities."

Infographics provided by REINZ as part of their September 2018 Residential Statistics Report
Infographics provided by REINZ as part of their September 2018 Residential Statistics Report. Source: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Bug in IT system used to count euthanasia bill submission costs taxpayers $75,000

A bug in an IT system used to count submissions to the controversial euthanasia bill ended up costing $75,000 to find 700 missing forms.

There were an un-precedented 37,000 submissions to the End of Life Bill and more than half were hard copies and had to be manually scanned in.

During that process 700 went missing and a consultant was brought in to find them and make sure no more got lost.

William Devos from the Office of the Clerk said it was a massive task involving multiple searches on different databases.

The $75,000 cost included a $10,000 audit, $45,000 for the consultant and $20,000 for two temporary staff.

Mr Devos said the bug itself took only $3500 to fix.

The IT system was developed by Parliamentary Service and has only been in use since late last year.

rnz.co.nz

Mr Seymour, author of the End of Life Choice Bill, debated the pros and cons with Dr Peter Thirkell of the Care Alliance, which opposes euthanasia.
Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Snow in the deep south, rain and gales forecast for central New Zealand

The wintry blast that brought snow to high country areas of the South Island overnight is set to sweep up the country with gales and heavy rain.

Snow fell in high country areas of Otago and Southland overnight, closing roads.

MetService says snow fell down to 200m in Southland.

State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford is closed from Hollyford Road because of snow and a rising avalance risk, and is likely to remain closed until midday.

MetService forecaster Heath Gullery said the cold weather system wasn't over yet.

Heavy rain warnings and watches are in place for north west Nelson, the ranges of Buller and the Richmond Range.

Mr Gullery said Up to 100mm of rain could fall in north-west Nelson.

Gales of more than 90 km/h are also expected for the Kaikoura coast and in Wellington.

Yesterday, temperatures dropped rapidly as the front moved up the South Island.

rnz.co.nz

This was a delight for locals as a cold snap hit the lower South Island today. Source: 1 NEWS


Motorcyclist dies after crashing into tree in Rotorua

A motorcyclist has died in a crash in Rotorua this morning.

Police were called to the crash at 1.51am.

The motorcycle was the only vehicle involved and the driver died at the scene after colliding with a tree.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.
 

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS