Cigarettes – now THIS takes political courage!
In a radical move that can only be described as extraordinarily bold, Tasmania has begun to address the problem of tobacco addiction, head-on. No faffing about; no tip-toeing around,
One of the constant whinges from some cigarette smokers; mis-guided libertarians, and their supporters, is that tobacco is a legal product and therefore it is unjust to target it with restrictions, higher taxes, control of advertising, availability, etc.
However, if the product is banned for people born after a certain time-period, then that product is illegal.
I believe so.
Of course, there will be those rugged individualists who think it is unjust to discriminate between those who are born before and after 2000.
We already discriminate on legal grounds.
For example, certain medicines are only available to certain individuals, for those in-need. Potentially addictive medicines are not available to everyone irrespective of medical circumstances.
Same for firearms; not all people can have automatic access to guns.
Emergency services are allowed to exceed government-imposed speed limits – the rest of us are not.
Sexual predators/paedophiles are permanently banned from working with children, even long after their court-imposed sentences have expired.
And tobacco is already a highly controlled substance.
So there is precedent for laws in our society which impose controls and conditions, based on circumstances.
If we can stop our children from taking up a habit that will end up killing many of them in horrible, painful circumstances – then our elected representatives should be mandated and supported to do so.
In this respect, every single politician who voted in favour of this proposal should be given a medal for service to their community. This is courage I would never have dreamed possible for politicians – people whom we often deride for evading difficult issues and avoiding making hard calls.
Meanwhile, back in New Zealand,
Mr Ryall – stand your ground!
And let no one in the Opposition deride National’s resoluteness as “nanny statism”. This is too important to play childish political games with.
Quite literally, the lives of our young people and future generations are at stake here.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
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