'We will protect our people' - Turia on tobacco
Mon, 23 Jul 2012 2:46p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia is welcoming the challenge from tobacco giants who are fighting the Government’s plain packaging proposal.
The Government wants branding removed from all tobacco products and replaced with plain wording as part of plans for a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025.
Today, a public consultation process was launched to get feedback on the proposal, which will run for three months.
It coincides with the first day of a new law banning tobacco displays in dairies and convenience stores.
Ms Turia says hiding cigarettes away is a good first step but the best deterrent is to remove the “glorious” packaging that attracts people to buy the products.
These plans have infuriated tobacco companies who say it breaches trade agreements, will start a black market and will see the Government taken to court.
British American Tobacco, despite releasing a statement welcoming the consultation, say they strongly oppose the proposal and say it will back-fire on the Government.
Tobacco company Phillip Morris has also set up a website which encourages its consumers to oppose the plain packaging idea.
Ms Turia says these strong reactions prove the plans will work and is not worried about threats that they breach trade agreements with other countries.
“In all of our trade and multi-lateral agreements, we already have protection for public health. It is critically important we retain our sovereignty and our ability to make laws for this country,” she says.
“We are not breaching agreements. The role of Government is to protect its people.”
She says she is not interested in what Phillip Morris has to say and their attempt to get their consumers to protest the Government is driven by profit.
“They don’t care about people’s lives and that is what people need to understand.
“Normally when you have a product that has a negative impact on the health and well being of people’s lives, usually the Government intervenes.”
But the planned intervention will not see a decrease in tobacco sales, according to a Wellington dairy owner.
Mahess Patel, who has owned a dairy on Cuba St for eight years, says brand loyalty will exist even if the labels are taken away.
“It might make a little bit of a difference but people know the brand they are after so they will come in and buy it.
He says the only measure by Government that reduces sales is an increase in tax.
One of his customers, Lance Collins, agrees with him.
“I would love people to stop smoking, I think it’s a disgusting habit but 90 percent of smokers will carry on even with the brands covered or with no branding on the packet,” he says.
Ms Turia says the main targets of plain packaging are not existing smokers but young people who are lured to the branding and start smoking.
But she isn’t ruling out further tax increases on top of the existing budgeted increase of 40 percent by 2016.
She says she would like to see it at 60 percent by then instead.
Watch the video for Patrick Gower’s full interview with Ms Turia.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
25/07/2012 7:57:58 p.m.
The Plan wrote:
After observing my own father suffering and dying from COPD/Emphysema for the first 17 years of life my life. Including having to sit down to catch his breath after getting out of bed. It is good to see someone taking the threat from Big Tobacco head on.
24/07/2012 8:12:21 p.m.
@ Hanna: while you've still got your mauri, and perhaps calling past here again, can you please explain to this Pakeha bloke the relationship of Addiction to Tino Rangatiratanga?
I'd love to know what you think. Cheers.
24/07/2012 1:32:42 p.m.
Hanna Carrington wrote:
Kia ora I have tried to sen you an email but not sure if it got through. My issue is those pictures of our people on the cigarette packets I find it very culturely insensitive. Us as maori dont do that to our people. Kia ora
24/07/2012 1:21:00 p.m.
Kia ora, my friend and I wrote a letter to the MP of whangarei stating that we were not happy with the pictures of dead people on cigarette packets, I am a maori and found it to be very very culturely insensitive to maori and was our people notified that they were putting pictures of the deceast on the cigarette packets. We did get a reply saying from the MP that they could assure us that the families were notified, we have done some research and this is not so. I personally think that removing those horrible pictures from the packets is great. Us maori do not do that to our tupapaku (deceast), Who did they get those photos from?. You should have picked up on that but you havent said anything about them. All you have touched on is the plain packaging. You will be hearing from me again on what my next step will be. Kia ora
24/07/2012 10:21:27 a.m.
Hira Hunapo wrote:
Kia ora Tariana,kia kaha , kia toa !! way to go.
24/07/2012 8:26:44 a.m.
Who does Tariana Turia think she is? Big brother trying to control the lives of the peoples she is supposed to be representing? It's not her duty to save people from themselves, and take away freedom of choices or what little is left of what once made New Zealand so great.
23/07/2012 11:52:37 p.m.
How many people are raped, beaten, coz they had one to many smokes, how many drivers are stopped on our roads each year coz they had to many cigarettes. How much does it cost nz each year to keep the police on the streets around main centers and check points catching drunk drivers and stopping crime caused by people out drinking?
Did you know if you drove down the street tomorrow and died in a car crash and you smoked it would be put down as you died from smoking, smokers die everyday so do non smokers. But how many smokers actual die from smoking it's self not from something else.
I smoke and so have my family, my great grandfather started smoking when he was five he died when he was 98 and till he died he was active he did everything.
It's not the smoking it's all the crap they put into it so turia if you want to help smokers get the tobacco companies to stop putting the crab in the tobacco.
23/07/2012 11:38:27 p.m.
It is MY right to breathe clean fresh air NOT SMOKE wrote:
And the Majority of people who DON'T SMOKE Should just just suffer so that you have your fix when you want it right? So very Selfish - but then I
Wouldn't expect anything less.
Thank you Turia for standing up for what is in everyones best interests. 2025 is still too far away but I look forward to it with my whole heart. I am sick of being out in public and along comes someone selfish who decides to light up. How is it fair that I have to leave or breathe in your toxic waste? And smoking around your children? I hope they grow up hating smoking like I did. What about their rights to clean air and a healthy long life? Keep telling yourself you need it and it's not hurting them so that you can sleep at night. You poor hard done by smoker you.
23/07/2012 11:23:24 p.m.
That is all good to say bring it on, but i personally do not pay my taxes to be wasted, did they not think the tobacco company would bite back, Turia must have thought they were going to be like her Maori Party ..... WEAK
Turia says the tobacco company does not care about people lives, which is true, but please neither does this Goverment and all associated with it.
23/07/2012 11:10:49 p.m.
McDonald's workers striking will be a waste of time if a strike-breaking bill pa...
The NZTA is being accused of wasting taxpayer money, spending tens of thousands ...
ACC levies have gone down under this government, but at what cost? A prominent w...
The Prime Minister has dodged questions all week about whether New Zealanders ar...
The Govt's plan to fast-track new housing in Auckland won't solve housing cost i...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.