Doing the Right Thing

Reversing a smoking ban.

New Zealand’s new government says it plans to scrap the nation’s world-leading smoking ban to fund tax cuts.

The legislation, introduced under the previous Jacinda Ardern-led government, would have banned cigarette sales next year to anyone born after 2008.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in New Zealand, and the policy had aimed to stop young generations from picking up the habit.

Health experts have strongly criticised the sudden reversal.

Well, they would, wouldn’t they? However, despite any health risks, it’s a matter of personal choice and should remain so. What these ‘experts’ always seem to forget is that we’ve tried this before. Alcohol in the USA. That worked out really well, didn’t it? And remind me, how’s that war on drugs going?

I was speaking to a colleague recently who was bemoaning the cost. In the next breath he told me that he could buy tobacco at a fraction of the price locally. Well, yes, of course. All the bans do is fuel a black market.

But as is usual, the ‘experts’ are morons.

“We are appalled and disgusted… this is an incredibly retrograde step on world-leading, absolutely excellent health measures,” said Prof Richard Edwards, a tobacco control researcher and public health expert at the University of Otago.

I, on the other hand, am pleased to see a glimmer of common sense emerging post the appalling Jacinda Ardern period.


  1. But our shower have already doubled down and said they will keep it. Even though they looked to New Zealand when bringing it in, and will now be the only country doing it

  2. Supposedly tax receipts from tobacco are some £10bn. NHS budget £168bn. So if we ban cigarettes we lose 5.95% of the NHS budget. And the people who will die from preventable illness caused by smoking will still die and still cost money to treat under the NHS.

    “Something doesn’t add up”

    • #&*£ me! More tax receipts. Alcohol £12.1bn, fuel £26bn, VAT £160bn, NICs £178bn, income tax £249bn.

      How the he’ll can we afford to not collect £10bn?

      Oh look, foreign aid is £12.8bn…..I wonder if we could cut that?

  3. The whole system is hypocritical. If everyone has a healthy lifestyle and lives to be 100 then the pension system will collapse. We need people to die a bit earlier and pay loads of taxes to pay for us healthy people.

  4. “What these ‘experts’ always seem to forget is that we’ve tried this before. Alcohol in the USA. That worked out really well, didn’t it? And remind me, how’s that war on drugs going?”

    Ah yes, but you’re forgetting that they are much more intelligent than you are.

  5. Smoking is manly. Packed full of vitamins, I strongly recommend it, especially as also gets the added satisfaction of annoying the Mr Dudley Do-Right types.

  6. I live in New Zealand and it seems that we are just waking from a nightmare, with relief that the sun is now shining. The tobacco ban was just one of Arderns brainfarts, we still have to unravel the everything Maori is wonderful bullshit. I still wonder how any rational adult thinks that banning something completely will make the desire for it go away.
    Anyone who craves a fix, alcohol, drugs ,tobacco, will find a source and the supplier, illegal or not will find a way to supply.

    • When I moved to the top of the south island and was looking for a rural property, I’d estimate that half of the older houses had tobacco drying barns. It hasn’t penetrated the tiny minds of the politicians that if tobacco was grown in such quantities that building a barn to store and dry it that if there was the demand, it could be easily done again and without the tax element in the cost, tobacco would be much cheaper leading to greater consumption. And the people growing and processing the tobacco would still make a tidy profit.

      But there again, since when has any politician thought things through and examined 2nd,let alone 3rd order effects?

  7. With cigarettes now at £20 a pack, going for grey market imports (Smuggling from Europe where it is a fraction of the price) is the obvious way to go for those so inclined.

    This has the advantage of cutting out the UK governments tax cut and providing nice cars and homes to criminals (often illegal foreigners like the Albanian gangs).

    So the UK Government seems to think this is a good thing…

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