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237 posts

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Topic # 57661 21-Feb-2010 00:15
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continuing from another thread:

billgates:
gehenna: Can't wait till smokes are banned completely.


it will never happen. one of the highest sources of income for govt and few other reasons like 'how do you help chain smokers give up without nictoine'


Not sure what the current figures in NZ are,  but I remember reading a few years back that the total revenue (duty, GST, tax on tobacco company profits, etc) the Australian government received from the manufacture and sale of all tobacco products exceeded the Australian national health bill.

On that basis, the government

(a) can't really afford to ban the sale of tobacco products

(b) is two faced when it claims it wants people to give up smoking and yet spends a pitifully small amount of the govt tobacco related revenue on anti-smoking campaigns.

I'd also point out that prohibition in the USA didn't stop alcohol,  so what chance stopping tobacco ?

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  Reply # 300641 21-Feb-2010 07:58
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The biggest problem with alcohol and cigarattes is that they are a tax cash cow for governments. If cigarattes were banned they would somehow need to find the money that is lost.

Last time I read an article (around a year ago) tax collects approximately $1 billion per year in NZ. If smoking was banned that $1 billion would have to be found elsewhere.


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  Reply # 300644 21-Feb-2010 08:09
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sbiddle: The biggest problem with alcohol and cigarattes is that they are a tax cash cow for governments. If cigarattes were banned they would somehow need to find the money that is lost.

Last time I read an article (around a year ago) tax collects approximately $1 billion per year in NZ. If smoking was banned that $1 billion would have to be found elsewhere.




No doubt from the motorist or the house owner in the form of a land tax..




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  Reply # 300651 21-Feb-2010 08:46
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sbiddle: The biggest problem with alcohol and cigarattes is that they are a tax cash cow for governments. If cigarattes were banned they would somehow need to find the money that is lost.

Last time I read an article (around a year ago) tax collects approximately $1 billion per year in NZ. If smoking was banned that $1 billion would have to be found elsewhere.



Brian Easton (economist) estimated that smoking resulted in a loss of GDP of 1.7% or $1.7B in 2000. Once you accept that there are other costs than direct health costs the idea that smoking should phase out becomes less unreasonable.

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  Reply # 300652 21-Feb-2010 08:55
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Smoking wires itself into the pleasure centres of your brain. You get a little reward from every cigarette.
You get a new baseline of "happy" for what's required to carry out your day - that level of acceptable living. Over time, every activity of your day is associated with smoking.

When you quit, your brain still wants life at the previous baseline, and every routine activity reminds of you that gap. All you can think about is rewarding yourself and getting back to that level "happy" for acceptable living. This is addiction and it is extremely hard to beat.
The withdrawl is huge and often leads people to compromise - just when I'm drinking - just on Saturdays - just on the weekends - oh, Friday night is weekend too - just after work - bah, I never wanted to quit anyway.

By banning the drug completely, you force smokers into a withdrawl situation, which will not be thanked, and they'll seek an alternative supply. The demand would be met by black market sources. Black market brings access to harder drugs and more violent crimes.

Not only would Government lose cigarette taxes, they'd need extra law enforcement (to hold the ban), and new money to control the black market that filled the vacuum to meet demand.

So, yes, I'm against banning smoking because it would bring more problems than solve. I believe focus should be on our kids. Hide cigarettes from view and steer the culture to isolating smokers.

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  Reply # 300670 21-Feb-2010 10:44
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How about just have a rolling increase to the age limit each year the age limit goes up by one. It stops younger generations from smoking without affecting those who currently smoke and are addicted.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 300673 21-Feb-2010 10:50
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Bung:
sbiddle: The biggest problem with alcohol and cigarattes is that they are a tax cash cow for governments. If cigarattes were banned they would somehow need to find the money that is lost.

Last time I read an article (around a year ago) tax collects approximately $1 billion per year in NZ. If smoking was banned that $1 billion would have to be found elsewhere.



Brian Easton (economist) estimated that smoking resulted in a loss of GDP of 1.7% or $1.7B in 2000. Once you accept that there are other costs than direct health costs the idea that smoking should phase out becomes less unreasonable.


I think the biggest problem is that the "anti-smoking lobby economists" grossly exaggerate the cost of smoking, whereas the "smoking lobby economists" do the same in underestimating the impact & cost of smoking. For example I only quoted an example of the direct revenue to the government exceeding the national health bill in Australia,  those figures did not take into account the contribution to GDP from the tobacco industry (farming, manufacture, distribution, retail etc).

Another problem is of course that various illnesses are often attributed to smoking whereas in reality the illness was not smoking related. 

My older brother passed away as result of cancer of the oesophagus, the oncologist when my brother was initially diagnosed made a comment in passing that he could have avoided this had he not smoked, my brother pointed out out that he had never smoked and had never been exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis (he hated bars & pubs, had always worked in places where no-one smoked etc), the oncologist then asked whether he'd worked in the transport industry, which my brother confirmed, the oncologist then explained that he had noticed an alarmingly high incidence of throat, oesophagus & lung cancer in those regularly exposed to diesel exhaust fumes, apparently diesel exhaust gas contains an extremely high level of carcinogens.

My point is that had my late brother not picked up on the oncologists passing comment, the cause of his illness would undoubtedly have been recorded as a smoking related illness.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see smoking of tobacco products disappear,  but like rvangelde

"I'm against banning smoking because it would bring more problems than solve.

I believe focus should be on our kids. Hide cigarettes from view and steer the culture to isolating smokers."

One step that I agree 100% with is the banning of smoking in cars where children are present,  they did it in Australia several years ago and I see no reason why we shouldn't bring in a similar ban immediately !


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  Reply # 300715 21-Feb-2010 15:01
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As someone who has suffered from smoke all his life (due to the irritant nature affecting my eyes and nose) I would like smoking to be banned. However, this is unlikely, so I'd suggest that nicotine free cigarettes (using genetically engineered tobacco leaves which already exist) be introduced and taxed less, the difference coming from an increase in the tax on existing nicotine containing cigarettes.

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  Reply # 300750 21-Feb-2010 17:23
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rvangelder - great little explanation.

I agree, should just be made "less accessable" so people might be more inclined to quit and others won't start due to the extra hassle of just getting a pack. Of course, we don't want them moving to other substances like what happened when they banned party pills.

The only thing I hate is the discarded butts, if they used some of those overnumbered parking wardens in Wellington to instead ticket people discarding butts, they'd rake it in.



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  Reply # 300754 21-Feb-2010 17:31
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paradoxsm: rvangelder - great little explanation.

I agree, should just be made "less accessable" so people might be more inclined to quit and others won't start due to the extra hassle of just getting a pack. Of course, we don't want them moving to other substances like what happened when they banned party pills.

The only thing I hate is the discarded butts, if they used some of those overnumbered parking wardens in Wellington to instead ticket people discarding butts, they'd rake it in.


Butts discarded indiscrimately is disgusting,  in many places in the world if you are seen by a police officer or council by-laws officer you will get an immediate on the spot fine for littering,  I understand the penalties overseas start at around NZ$30. 

Of course if more "public ashtrays" were available then that would also help reduce the litter problem.

hbk

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  Reply # 300756 21-Feb-2010 17:48
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Being obese should be banned as well.

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  Reply # 300761 21-Feb-2010 18:06
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Sorry, but after being at an outside music event today I would disagree about banning smoking.

There is a far worse epidemic at the moment.. Obsesity. If what I saw today was anything to go buy, obesity is more of an issue than smoking. I saw maybe between 3 or 4 people smoking...

Bring on the fat-tax and stop obesity!




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  Reply # 300827 21-Feb-2010 21:02
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While this thread is about banning smoking, I also have an opinon on diet.

Society is ignorant. We're the fast food, high fat, high sugar generation. I joke about scooping a handful of lard and dipping it in sugar, but it's scary how close that is to many diets.
Our kids are learning how to eat by convenience too, with little idea of what they're really eating.

I feel as if the situation has become so severe that only drastic action could solve it.

It starts with eduction. Kids have to learn what they're eating.
Schools should take over the role of food providers. 2, preferably 3 meals per day provided, starting with breakfast. Not only does that allow kids to eat healthy, it also solves a barrier to learning - high sugar = kids hyper, then crash.

To be honest, this thread is depressing, but on the plus side, I can see my house from the top of this soap box.

hbk

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  Reply # 300838 21-Feb-2010 21:19
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What annoys me is that when you watch the news and see these people talking about banning smoking being beneficial, the majority of the people saying it are overweight (ok, some stereotyping here, but see Maori Party) and will cost more health dollars because of weight related problems than the majority of smokers will.

I run, I go to the gym and I eat healthy to stay in shape, and that's expensive, I haven't been to a public doctor in ten or more years and haven't cost the government any health dollars, but I enjoy the occasional smoke once, twice, a few times a month because I enjoy it, I'm not addicted, and I don't see why they should be taken away from someone like me.

I do see the other side though, chain smoking causes cancer etc, it's tough, there's lots of things that are just as bad for you that are legal and will never be banned. I don't know what my point in all of that was, but I don't think smoking should be banned, moderation is the answer but I guess addiction is stronger than most people.

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  Reply # 300874 22-Feb-2010 00:13
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The train just came off the tracks and suddenly went off-topic lol., though "obesity" and "smoking" are kind of related, smoking apparently stops the food cravings smokes often say.

Some people have addictive traits I think, I started smoking years ago ans stopped instantly, same with coffee drinking and alcohol. Have my fun and move on like nothing ever happened.

So much food in NZ seems to be excessively fat, salty and sweet which I think is half the problem and I won't start on the obnoxious food prices we pay for all the export-rejects which could also be a significant factor.

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  Reply # 300893 22-Feb-2010 07:41
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hbk:

I run, I go to the gym and I eat healthy to stay in shape, and that's expensive, I haven't been to a public doctor in ten or more years and haven't cost the government any health dollars, but I enjoy the occasional smoke once, twice, a few times a month because I enjoy it, I'm not addicted, and I don't see why they should be taken away from someone like me.



I personally would agree with that sentiment - you have the right to smoke knowing the risks, just as long as you realise that others have the right to not smoke, and keep the cigarettes in private places where they should be.  The problem is that many smokers do not give a toss about anyone else, so they light up outside of public buildings, at bus stops and train stations, public parks, pretty much anywhere really.  It infuriates me to have to walk through a gauntlet of disgusting smoke to get into any public building, and to have to stand 30 metres from the bus stop or train shelter just to avoid the stuff.

The worst part is that I literally have to walk a gauntlet of smokers to get to work - at a hospital.  You almost trip over the cords from people's $10,000 medical equipment as they stand out on the kerb puffing away.  It's more than a little disgusting.

Bring on a public places smoking ban I say.




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