Government moves to legalise e-cigs

The government has made a smart move for once, they’ve decided to make e-cigs legal.

The Government has unveiled plans to make e-cigarettes legal, in a bid to claw back lost ground on the ambitious target to make New Zealand smokefree?by 2025.

Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner has announced the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquid will be made legal and will likely come into force late next year.

“Scientific evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes is still developing but there’s a general consensus that vaping is much less harmful than smoking,” she said.

“This is an opportunity to see if restricted access to e-cigarettes and e-liquid can help lower our smoking rates, reduce harm and save lives.”

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Victim blaming and justifying crime from Tariana Turia

Former government minister and Maori party leader appears to condone robbery and violence simply on the premise that shop owners deserve it because they sell tobacco products.

The politician who rammed through cigarette price increases says dairies have a simple solution to prevent increasingly violent robberies – stop selling them.

Dame Tariana Turia told The AM Show on Monday that the death of 5000 people a year due to smoking-related illnesses is too high a price to pay, and her solution is simple. Stop selling cigarettes. ? Read more »


Plain packaging pointless shows Australian experience

Sam Lotu Iiga is a tool, one who caved to his advisors and their wooly and wonky thinking over plain packaging.

Did he not stop to think of several obvious things. Firstly that cigarettes are NOT on display in shops. They are hidden behind cabinets and cupboards, so packaging is kind of moot anyway. Secondly, we have had plain packaging for years…in supermarkets. They are called store brands and the prices are lower because of lower packaging costs. They are exactly the same products and name brands, just in store brand packaging. So if it worked then surely supermarkets, who are the most rapacious bastards known to man would have ditched it long ago due to lack of sales.

The third reason is that there is no evidence at all that it works. Take Australia for instance…

A bill which will mean cigarettes can only be sold in bland brown or green packaging passed its final reading in Parliament this week.

The bill means mandatory health warnings will cover at least three quarters of the packet and tobacco company logos will be removed.

It’s taken three years for the legislation to pass after tobacco companies tried to sue the Australian government.

That legal battle failed last year, and even though the law was still facing challenges, such as by the World Trade Organisation, with other countries also introducing plain packing, legal action was less likely.

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Agreeing with Soper twice in a week

It is a red letter day when I agree with Barry Soper twice in a week.

Today he lambasts the government for their plain packaging nanny-statism:

There was a time that Parliament resembled an opium den, so thick was the smoke around the place. It was virtually compulsory to smoke everywhere, the debating chamber, select committee rooms and Bellamys was always acrid with smoke.

But suddenly smoking became untrendy. There were howls of derision when the final bastion of the butt, Bellamys was declared smoke free and the smoking stalwarts were forced into the Wellington wind to try and strike up. In recent weeks even that’s been banned, from the front forecourt of Parliament anyway.

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Turns out that National is the smoker’s friend


Tobacco will go up by 10 per cent a year for four years from January 2017, driving the price of a pack of cigarettes to $30 from about $22 now. But Budget documents show the Ministry of Health had asked for a sharper increase.

It had wanted an immediate Budget night increase followed by a further four annual increases of 12.5 per cent from January next year. Anti smoking groups such as Aspire 2025 have called for 20 per cent annual increases.

However, Ministers opted for Treasury’s lower 10 per cent figure despite Treasury saying it would not be enough to achieve a goal of being smokefree by 2025. Read more »


Hide loves Max, but cautions him to harden up

Max Key has broken all the rules on being a politician’s son: Don’t embarrass Dad. Keep out of the media. Stay out of trouble.

But not Max Key. He courts publicity. And Dad – far from wagging his finger – plays along. It’s tremendous.

Max’s presence is propelled by the ability to publicise his life with Instagram and the modern desire for fame for its own sake.

We once shunned fame. Our war heroes, All Blacks and other sporting champions were reluctantly in the public eye. Fame was something that sat uncomfortably with them. People now seek it out. We have celebrities who are famous simply for being famous.

Max is a perfect candidate. He’s young, good-looking and his dad is Prime Minister.

And so Max has a glamour shot taken of himself in his undies. Holding a cigarette.

The cigarette. Marketing genius. The shots would have been a one-day story. The cigarette spread them over several news cycles. Cue the outrage. Twitter lit up.

There were stories of what else he could have held. The Government’s Budget increased tobacco taxes and oh my goodness, here is the Prime Minister’s son holding a cigarette making our youth susceptible to rushing out to buy a packet.

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Winston thinks there are more voters among smokers than fat bastards


NZ First leader Winston Peters has hit out at the rising price of tobacco as taxes are increased under the latest budget, saying obesity should be looked at first.

“Hiking tobacco taxes in the budget is just a lot of fat people sitting in their ivory towers telling smokers what to do.”

Mr Peters said the new taxes were making smokers feel “guilty”, and unfairly targeting them.

“The Government is ignoring the huge health problems we have with obesity and is picking on low-income people again – people who are not allowed to have any freedom to enjoy something that is legal without being hit hard in the pocket and made to feel guilty.

“This has nothing to do with supporting smoking; it’s about fairness and speaking up for people’s personal freedom.”

So what does Winston want to do?? Read more »

I have a great new idea to stop road fatalities

Make cars too expensive to buy and use. ? No, seriously. ?That’s the approach we use for smoking, so why not for cars and other things we want to socially engineer to be too expensive for most to use?

From 1 January 2016, the price of cigarettes will increase by 10 percent, the fourth and final scheduled annual increase.

The government has yet to announce whether it will commit to further annual price increases, but has said it wants to make the country to be smoke-free by 2025.

End Smoking NZ chairwoman Marewa Glover not only wants the increase to continue, she wants the government to raise it.

“I found with our studies people tend to have a budget. So they might say their budget is $15 for tobacco, a day and then they just make it work. They’ll buy loose tobacco, they’ll shift from the manufactured tobacco packets to loose tobacco and start rolling their own, to make it go further.”

“They try and reduce down the number of cigarettes per day. They try and stay within their budget and what helps them by also shifting to a cheaper brand,” she said.

Dr Glover said a 20 percent increase would make smoking unobtainable for more people.

“A lot of people have a price, what we call a break point and if it gets to that then they go ”oh no, that’s it, I can’t do this anymore, I have to quit’, and they will make a serious attempt.”

But, Dr?Marewa Glover isn’t stupid. ?She knows that if you make something too expensive, or you effectively ban it, people will try to find a way around it somehow. ? Read more »

UK Health officials urge smokers to ditch the fags and start vaping instead

UK Health officials urge smokers to ditch the fags and start vaping instead, and on top of that they want e-cigs to be part of NHS funding.

E-cigarettes should be available on the NHS, public health officials have said despite conflicting evidence over their safety.

Britain?s eight million smokers have been urged to start ?vaping? after a government-backed report found that the electronic devices are 20 times less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

So far no electronic cigarette has been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

But a new report launched today by Public Health England, Kings College London and Queen Mary London, found e-cigarettes carry just five per cent of the risk of tobacco and should be widely adopted by smokers.

If every smoker in Britain switched to vaping, around 75,000 lives a year could be saved, they estimate. The experts called for e-cigarettes to be prescribed on the NHS once regulated.

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Trougher, desperate for attention, trying to re-write past again


Here we go again.

Poor old trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook ? the trougher exposed on Whaleoil for living it up large around the world on the taxpayer, is crying to Maori media after another troughing group gets a slap from the Taxpayers Union.

This time it is taxpayer funded anti-tobacco group ASH getting a serve from the Taxpayers Union who say:

The Taxpayers? Union believes that questions need to asked about why a lobby group, working with the Maori Party on a political campaign around tobacco plain packaging, is largely taxpayer funded. ?This morning?s front page of the New Zealand Herald covers the latest efforts to build political pressure to introduce a plain packaging law.

Taxpayers? Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says, ?While civil servants operate under a duty of political neutrality, the Ministry of Health and others are awarding substantial sums of taxpayer money to health and environmental lobby groups to push particular political agendas.”

?It is wrong for special interest groups such as ASH to be using taxpayer money for political campaigns. ASH’s?factual inaccuracies about the impact of plain packaging on smoking consumption in Australia suggests that they are operating outside any of the usual public sector control requiring balanced and evidenced based public statements.?

According to ASH?s most recent annual return filed with the Charities Register, more than 90% of ASH?s funding comes from the taxpayer.

Mr Williams says, ?We all support funding for front line and addiction services such as Quitline. What we don?t support is funding to political organisations to operate campaigns with taxpayer money.”

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