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Anti-Smoking Obsession - Jackboot Legislation

Not Even Labour's Anti-Smoking Obsession Warrants Jackboot Legislation

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Government's anti-smoking Supplementary Order Paper proposes measures that go far beyond what is acceptable in a democratic society.

"Labour's anti-smoking obsession is legendary, and while there is no doubt that smoking poses a significant health risk, that does not justify the type of extreme response contained in this SOP, which is simply fascist."

"The notion that we establish special health police (the enforcement officers set up by new section 41A) with sweeping powers to enter premises, including dwellinghouses and residential accommodation (Section 41A(5)) is straight out of Nazi Germany."

"Equally ludicrous and objectionable are the powers given to enforcement officers to demand identification of persons under 18 years and to seek other information about sales to persons under 18 go beyond South Africa's infamous Pass Laws of the apartheid era."

"At this rate, the next thing this Government will be requiring is that smokers and tobacco retailers wear special identifying badges to make their pariah status clear."

"It all has an eerie feel of the days of the jackboot to it," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says the legislation is hypocritical and discriminatory.

"Private clubs and RSAs are excluded for no other reason than a fear of upsetting traditional Labour voters, and the fact that the implementation date for the change is not until 2007 shows the Government's primary interest is being seen to be tough to pander to the anti-smoking lobby, while attempting to do nothing to really upset people."

"If they are allowed to get away with this nonsense, then where will the line be drawn in future?"

"Will cars have to carry massive labels because people die in road accidents?"

"Will alcohol be next on the hit list?" he asks.

Mr Dunne says it is bitterly ironic that Mrs Keall should be sponsoring these draconian moves at the same time she is chairing the Health Committee which is carrying out an inquiry which is expected to lead to decriminalising cannabis.

Ends


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