Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Andrei Did we really get rid of Labour last time? Well in name perhaps,

More nanny statism from the people who promised us less.

Parliament is sitting under urgency to raise tobacco taxes by 10%.

It will save lives the architect of this travesty, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia tries to tell us.

BS - not a single life will be "saved" because everybody dies one way or another.

To be sure some smokers lives are shortened by the habit, but then again so are some scuba divers lives shortened by their lifestyle choices and options.

What is sure to shorten my life is the raise in my blood pressure caused by seeing sanctimonious politicians who eagerly sit under extreme urgency to pass laws raising taxes on the poor but are incapable of dealing with our ridiculous ETS under urgency or otherwise.

7 comment(s):

KG said...

Spot-on. And a lot more polite (surprise!) than my effort.

ZenTiger said...

I think the Maori party should just demand it be banned from sale to Maori. If you are on the Maori Roll, can't purchase.

Instantly, Maori lives saved from the evil colonial weed.

Simple, and totally in keeping with a special "indigenous" health policy.

Toddies said...

You miss the point; getting tough on smokers and reducing future health problems caused by tobacco will mean better health care options for those with a healthier lifestyle who get ill. Yes, you can't legislate against all unwise behaviour but we can try to educate and coerce by law where necessary. The conservative position is to balance the greater good against personal self interest.

KG said...

"You miss the point; getting tough on smokers and reducing future health problems caused by tobacco will mean better health care options for those with a healthier lifestyle who get ill."

You miss the point enitirely. Toddies. That is, if liberty means anything at all to you.
How will it mean "better healthcare options" when smokers already contribute more than their share of tax towards healthcare costs? Especially since smokers tend to die younger and thus save money on superannuation payments etc.

"but we can try to educate and coerce by law where necessary...."
The function of law is not to educate and coerce. Leaving aside the arrogance of those prepared to see the law used by the state in order to bully those who choose to consume a legal substance, who exactly is "we"?
We, the people, or we the wannabe social engineers, the purse-lipped nannying bastards who think adult's legal drugs are their business?
I suspect you're one of the latter.

What I ingest--provided it harms nobody else--is my damn business.
All talk of tax being used to modify behaviour for people's own sakes is a smokescreen for state theft of money. And theft of money is theft of the time that must be spent working to earn it.
The reply to those who would steal an even larger chunk of my life from me than they already do isn't printable here--so I'll just suggest you partake of some sex and travel.

ZenTiger said...

"Getting tough on smokers?", Toddies?

We have got tough on smokers. It's basically illegal to smoke in pubs, restaurants and cafes.

It's illegal to smoke in cinema's, public buildings, and at work in the office.

It's taxed a high amount. It's like you are fined for smoking simply by purchasing the "legal" substance.

Advertising is restricted. Health warnings abound and insurance premiums provide a further disincentive.

A huge amount of literature, advertising and promotion has seen major changes in society, and we have broad acceptance of a high degree of government interference.

I think it gets to the point where the taxes are so high that they are out of balance.

I would recommend changing the approach - stopping the younger generation from smoking illegally.

I see many young teens smoking at the bus stops, obviously illegal. Enforce the law, and stop them smoking. Make them wait.

They could also increase the legal age of purchase - Do it by putting up the purchase age every year or second year, until it gets to 21.

After that, if they want to start, so be it.

All they have done with this latest tax is create a greater likelihood of a black market, and then smokers are paying no tax.

Given all other measures, I think this tax is one step too far for life long smokers.


PS: I don't smoke.

KG said...

The last couple of nights we've had drunk people brought by ambulance to the E.D. No injuries, simply drunk. The police had to be called to remove one and take him home. That's absolutely par for the course on a night shift.
What did those drunks cost the taxpayer?
The argument against smoking often includes the statement that--unlike alcohol--there's no safe level of consumption. Well, that's true of diesel fumes and the dust and fumes from any number of industrial processes, yet workers in those industries aren't demonised.

The question of smoking has been turned into a moral crusade by zealots who are perfectly happy to twist the statistics, assume a holier-than-thou air and then go home to blob out in front of the TV, eat garbage food (and too much of it) and have a drink.
Hypocrisy, dishonesty and intellectual laziness, all in one.

Lucia Maria said...

Andrei,

You're absolutely right. This does not "save" any lives, because we will all die in the end.

However, if smoking is so evil, why don't the politicians just ban cigarettes and be done with it.

Answer being, rioting in the streets and a severe drop in tax revenue.

I remember my Dad used to say that he'd stop smoking when cigarettes were $1 a pack. That was the point, he thought, where they'd be too expensive to buy. Yet the $1 mark came and went, and he was still smoking.

Right up to when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Then he stopped. Of course, the cancer killed him six months later at age 65.

Had politicians banned smokes rather than just bumping up the taxes years before my Dad got sick, maybe he'd have had another 20 years, like his older brothers (who are still alive, btw).

Or maybe not.

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