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Teen Smoking Increase - Zealots Have Failed

Teen Smoking Increase Shows Anti-Smoking Zealots Have Failed

New Zealand's harsh anti-smoking laws are a dismal failure, says United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne says the preliminary findings of ASH's Year 2000 Survey of 30,000 fourth formers showing a 30% increase in teen smoking since 1992, are an indictment of the extremist approach of that organisation and the Smoke Free Environments Act, they and other anti-smoking groups have promoted so strongly.

"It is tragically ironic that ASH's researcher is Dr Murray Laugesen, because no-one was a more extreme zealot on this issue than Dr Laugesen was when he was a Health Department official, and he is one of those most responsible for the failed policy of the last decade."

"Figures provided to Parliament about two years ago by the Associate Minister of Health at the time showed that the Smoke Free Environments Act had cost $44 million to that time to implement, and that teen smoking rates were rising sharply."

"What is even more incredible is that the response of Dr Laugesen and his colleagues to this spectacular failure is to call for even more extreme measures such as last week's absurd suggestion of a ban on films showing people smoking."

"I suppose fanaticism and gall and go hand in hand, but if I was part of ASH, or one of its fellow travellers, and faced with this appalling failure, I would now be hanging my head in shame and embarrassment, not brazenly calling for even more of the same failed measures."

"I am appalled that people whose ideas have led to the waste of nearly $50 million can be so irresponsible as to want more of the same ," Mr Dunne says.

Ends


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