“The Government’s gradual ban on all tobacco sales is prohibition. It will create a black market and kill off dairies”, says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill reduces the number of retailers allowed to sell cigarettes to just 600 nationwide and it’s estimated that up to 80 per cent of dairies will go out of business.
“No one wants to see people smoke, but the reality is, some will. And Labour’s nanny state prohibition is going to cause problems.
“Prohibition has never worked in any time or place and it always has unintended consequences. Eventually, we will end up with a black market for tobacco, with no standards or regulation, and people will be harmed.
“The best way to wean people off tobacco is to allow the market to innovate and deliver products like vaping. Sadly, Labour has cracked down on that, too.
“By radically reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes, smokers who can least afford it will spend more on their habit and in turn do harm to those around them if the Government mandates lower nicotine in tobacco.
“We knew Labour was dim, but trying to wean existing smokers off nicotine by making them smoke more tar takes the cake.
“And we know Labour won’t cut taxes, so they’ll be increasing the tax on nicotine by a factor of 20, hitting poorer New Zealanders hardest.
“A few smokers may behave just as the backers of this never-before-tried policy are supposed to and wean themselves off cigarettes and on to less harmful alternatives, but without doubt some will do everything they can to smoke more for the same hit.
“Some of those people will have responsibilities to little children, and they will suffer in the long run, creating a greater burden for the already stretched child welfare system.
“Where’s the research that says this is a sensible policy that won’t cost us all more in social impacts than it saves in healthcare?
“This will drive up the trade of black market tobacco with high nicotine, driving those addicted to cigarettes to turn to crime to feed their habit. The gangs will be rubbing their hands with glee.
“This reeks of a poorly thought out feel-good policy with numerous potential negative downsides – it’s classic command and control Labour.”
Brooke van Velden
Yesterday’s man either can’t remember or can’t tell truth
“Winston Peters has said Labour hid its He Puapua plan from him, but new documents show he’s either forgotten he helped approve it, or can’t tell the truth,” says ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.
ACT has raised $120k for Ukraine
“ACT has raised over $120,000 for Ukraine, with $40,000 raised at our fundraiser last night,” says ACT Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.
Auckland 6th least affordable major housing market in world
“Labour got elected five and a half years ago on a bold promise to fix housing, the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability report shows they’ve only made things worse,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.