Peters speaks out against tobacco tax rise
Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:33a.m.
By 3 News online staff
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has spoken out against plans for further tobacco tax increases.
Mr Peters, a known smoker, told a select committee hearing yesterday that higher prices for tobacco products would “thump the pockets” of low-income Maori, the New Zealand Herald reports.
The bill would increase the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes to more than $20 within four years, if passed by Parliament.
Mr Peters’ stance against further price rises was opposed by the Maori Party, who are pushing for the change.
Maori Party vice-president Ken Mair describes tobacco companies as “terrorists” and says they are responsible for 5000 deaths a year.
This figure was challenged by Mr Peters, but University of Otago Professor Richard Edwards says the number can be verified.
"This figure was not plucked out of the air. You work out from the increased risk that smokers have of developing conditions like lung cancer,” he says.
Mr Edwards says from looking at the prevalence of smoking among those people with conditions like lung cancer, it can then be worked out what proportion of deaths are due to smoking.
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4/01/2013 2:53:30 p.m.
John marsh wrote:
Hi guys.., I believe your voice was not powerful enough, and is too late now to say something,... You had the right to make it good through the vote. Now..., is time for you to suffer. Poor people..
29/07/2012 10:25:10 a.m.
The carbon monoxide smog over chch did not come from cigarette smoking. How many people own cars, buses, trucks, and motorbikes. Get rid of your vehicles. The smog is making my asthma worse, not the tobacco smoke.
28/07/2012 10:20:21 p.m.
@ 'Fair' Kiwi: you also have acknowledged that smokers are addicted. What then, would be the implication of making 650k NZers criminals by banning cigarettes? Have you considered that? Part of the reason cancer sticks remain legal despite the harm, is so that addicted smokers are not penalised. Tax revenues are often not specifically targeted at health programmes, and in this case you have a point. But it is not enough to let the status quo remain if smoking causes preventable deaths.
Your suggestion about a test case against the govt resembles those plaintiffs who've taken the industry to court for failure to warn of the harm - the majority of outcomes have been the person 'should've known' due to 'sufficient information'. These were examples of injustice, because the industry have witheld information.
Perhaps they are the ones who should be taken to court.
The difference here is that (if you cared to notice) the government is taking steps (other than tax increases) to address the documented harm, and has informed the NZ public of its' plans. The 'don't care about your health' comment is more appropriate for describing the manufacturers. If they declare a profit, then people have suffered in proportion, and not just in NZ.
27/07/2012 11:24:35 p.m.
Fair Kiwi wrote:
More lies coming from these governments. They don't care abut your health smokers. If they did cigarettes would be banned outright which would actually suit most smokers who are addicted. They know there will be very little opposition to this tax increase and once more the lowly paid are going to suffer and keys has more money to fix his political mess up. The government has publicly admitted that smoking causes DEATH, so are they not accountable in a court of law for committing manslaughter by allowing the sale of these cancer sticks. I would challenge anyone with lung cancer to test this in a law court. I am sure the public would contribute to the cost of taking out a law suit. I would!
27/07/2012 9:17:45 a.m.
paul, I agree with some of your statements and cigarettes is a leading cause of the illnesses you have stated, although it's not the ONLY contributing factor either. For every cigarette packet/box purchased, is there not a 'tax' paid by the purchaser, and so....in effect isn't this 'purchaser' contributing towards health costs??? I thought it was quite obvious why tobacco companies do what they do....They sell cigarettes in an effort to 'line their own pockets with MONEY'. HOW they generate this income and the repercussions that eventuate from this habit does not concern them because they have already done what they need to do. This done in the form of warning advertising (on their own product). This still makes it a personal choice to consume tobacco. The NZ govt have increased prices on cigarettes and not tobacco companies....so....does this mean the added increase will go into the govt coffers or tobacco companies???
25/07/2012 10:24:48 p.m.
moera, yes everyone has the right to choose if they smoke but why should i and others pay for ongoing health costs for people suffering asthma, COPD,cancers, increased heartdisease. Bring on the increased prices, those that use health services and smoke should pay market rate for the sercices. Tobacco companies... How can they go to work each day knowing they are peddling a proven cancer causing product [ take note Mr Peters!] Make it prohibitively expensive to manafacture and drive them from the country... Get real NZ and make a stand! Oh and Jan. ... Suck it in. ... Not fair on beneficiaries??? PLEASE... Should we perhaps sell cheap tobacco to beneficiaries cos all that would do is kill them preferentially. . Thenyou and others like you would complain that they were being targeted by the tobacco companies. .... Oh wait... that`s what they do! !!
25/07/2012 3:12:54 p.m.
I'm not a smoker but don't NZders have the right to choose what they put into their bodies? Isn't it 'their right' to choose whether they want to smoke or not. I've seen the effects that smoking causes but I've also seen the effects of what alcohol and other stimulants do as well. After the govt completes the total ban on smoking what will be the next to follow?
23/07/2012 4:15:48 p.m.
Has-been charlatan !
23/07/2012 10:37:15 a.m.
People please, alcohol does not have the same health implications as tobacco does. Alcohol use in moderation will do no harm whereas any tobacco use in any form is harmful for your body. The only reason alcohol gets a bad rap is that there are four times as many drinkers in New Zealand (88%) compared to smokers (19%).
21/07/2012 10:28:01 p.m.
Its not fair on the beneficaries or to all small wage earners to have tobbaco higher in price so only the people in the higher ranks can affort it, this goes for everthing this government dealt with that left it impossible for the homeless to survive.. If you don't watch it then the homeless become living in slums like India and other poor countries, New Zealand is ahead of time that has no need for slums.. The Government should resign to stop he or she from running the Aotearoa Country and its people further into depts..
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