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Foreign interests should butt out of tobacco debate



Trade Spokesperson
10 February 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Foreign interests should butt out of tobacco debate

Decisions on restricting the promotion and sale of tobacco products in New Zealand are for our country alone, not foreign vested interests, says Labour’s Trade spokesperson Phil Goff.

Phil Goff’s comments follow statements from United States business interests opposing plain packaging laws relating to tobacco sales due to come before Parliament tomorrow.

“This is a matter solely for New Zealand to determine.

“Business interests promoting the use of tobacco have no place and no rights in this debate.

“Tobacco is a produce unique in killing a large percentage of those who consume it.

“It’s Parliament’s responsibility to act in the public good, end promotion of the product and take any steps which may be effective in curbing its consumption.

“As much as apologists for tobacco might pretend this is a debate about intellectual property rights or removing barriers to trade, in fact it’s about a government’s sovereign right and responsibility to promote good health and public wellbeing.

“Lobbyists promoting the use of tobacco should butt out of the debate and New Zealand should not agree to anything being included in any trade agreement that stops our Parliament from acting in the public good,” Phil Goff says.


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