Tobacco companies 'running scared'
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:59a.m.
By Kim Choe
Philip Morris says "your opinion counts" - if you're a smoker.
It has set up a website as part of the first public campaign by a tobacco company in New Zealand to fight back against the Government's attempts to stamp out smoking.
“They can sign up, they can see news and stories about tobacco regulatory issues, and then down the line they'll have the ability to communicate their views to decision makers and have their say,” says Philip Morris corporate affairs manager Christopher Bishop.
The company is promoting the site by giving shop owners cards to hand out to customers buying Philip Morris cigarettes.
“It's a last-ditch attempt by a company that's running scared when typically tobacco companies in New Zealand have stayed in the shadows,” says Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) director Ben Youdan.
Mr Youdan says he doesn't think the campaign will have any effect on Government policy.
“The fact they've released this website and they're now trying to recruit the same people they're killing with their products to defend their right to kill those people just shows that they're not being listened to by the Government. They no longer have any credibility as a responsible citizen,” he says.
Mr Bishop argues the campaign is about listening to its customers.
“What our consumers tell us is that they think regulation's gone too far, and they want a chance to have a say on issues like plain packaging, like display bans, like excise tax hikes, and on public smoking bans.”
But Philip Morris won't say whether it will pass all feedback its website receives onto the Government, or whether it will choose the ones that best suit its cause.
Similar publicity campaigns by tobacco companies in Australia failed to win any concessions from the government there, which is working to ensure cigarettes will have to be sold in logo-free, plain packaging from December.
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13/08/2012 11:49:54 a.m.
the new law stops the local dairy owner telling me what ciggies he has verbaly. Anything that takes away one human being talking to another about anything is surly a breach of humun rights, is it not? Thats what worries me more than anything. The chat with your local dairy owner is part of our culture within our communitys. The govt has not right to rell us what we can and cant say to each other.
29/07/2012 1:30:54 p.m.
Im so sick of the government also,i enjoy having a ciggie.they keep picking on smokers what about the idiots who drink then drive.they r killing others we r jst killing our selfs bt isnt that our choice? the government need 2 leave us smokers alone.the government r making out that smokers r dirty people bt we r nt.
24/07/2012 8:21:19 p.m.
The Plan wrote:
DYLAN, and of course it may kill you, but not before you suck a couple million dollars worth of health services out of the tax payer trying to keep you alive. Perhaps the tax payer may just choose to cut tobacco related illnesses for smokers out of the public health budget. Then you will be to pay for your own treatment or die in the street.
Perhaps you are in the 1% that can afford to do that.
Your argument is of course nothing that has not been heard from an addict. Neuroscience tells us that your thoughts on tobacco are influenced in precisely the same way. That is say the reward centres of the brain and in severe cases survival instincts are high-jacked.
23/07/2012 11:47:12 p.m.
The Goverment will soon be telling us what cars to drive and what time we all need to be inside our house, the only thing missing at the moment is the mark that everyone will be carrying, it will be here soon as we are already been dictated on how we should be living.
22/07/2012 7:45:50 p.m.
So what taxes will go up?? I am getting sick of this, I smoke I don't want to quit, let me live how I want, I know it may kill me, but that is MY choice
21/07/2012 1:49:38 a.m.
DIVADAYS, what you said is true, the thing i have seen is we are been dictated how we should live and it will only get worse if this government is not stopped, i am waiting for a bill to come out saying that all cars built before a certain year will not be allow on our roads, wait for it, it will get worse and worse.
20/07/2012 5:36:48 p.m.
I do not care about the packaging. What I care about is the breach of my rights to choose how I live MY life and the constant bullying by the Govt - the maori party and co - my basic rights of choice is being taken away by raising prices so it is unattainable...I am sure there is a word for a Govt that does that to its voters...and I did vote for the Nats...I did NOT vote for the maori party. If they are so concerned about maori smoking, then raise the price for maori. leave us whites out of it. (Which is as ridiculous as the maori party and co's stance...considering how they enjoy food...booze...the good life...). I want the website to register with. I want my voice heard.
20/07/2012 4:44:31 p.m.
when are they going to put the tobacco products in a less prominent place. every time you go to the petrol station, dairy or supermarket. its right in your face at the check out.
20/07/2012 4:24:43 p.m.
Funnily enough the web site information does not seem to be available for anyone but current smokers! However, Google Philip Morris and up comes some details of payouts they have had to make as a result of the harm their product can cause. Many ex smokers seem to be very glad that restrictions have been put into place. Everyone I know who went to pubs and restaurants - when smoking was allowed - appreciates the current smoke free environments. If the website was available for comments from both sides of the debate it would be interesting to see just how much vocal support there is for Philip Morris!!
20/07/2012 3:08:54 p.m.
I'm a smoker... and I enjoy it. What is the website where I can finally have MY OPINION ON MY SMOKING??
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