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‘Health Nazis’ Actually Saving Lives

‘Health Nazis’ Actually Saving Lives
Thursday 18 September 2003
For immediate release

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, Heart Foundation and Cancer Society are extremely disappointed by United Future leader Peter Dunne’s comments in Parliament last night about tobacco control health workers. Mr Dunne called the workers ‘health Nazis’, ‘contemptible’ and ‘the lowest form of lowlife imaginable’.

“Mr Dunne has made a cowardly attack on people he knows can’t respond”, says Asthma and Respiratory Foundation Executive Director Jane Patterson.

“By labelling people involved in the smokefree legislation as ‘lowlife’ Mr Dunne is insulting organisations like the Cancer Society, the Heart Foundation and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation.

“All these organisations support the work being carried out by health workers involved in this Bill. The people Mr Dunne has attacked are hard working Kiwis who have been involved in tobacco control measures that have helped save thousands of lives over the past two decades.

“The Nazis killed millions of innocent people. The label ‘Nazi’ would seem to fit the tobacco industry far better than health workers.”

Ms Patterson says Mr Dunne’s latest attack continues his extremely pro-tobacco approach.

“Smokefree restaurants and bars will result in lives being saved as fewer people are exposed to second-hand smoke, and more people quit smoking. A spin-off of this is likely to be a fall in tobacco industry profits in New Zealand. Mr Dunne’s comments seem to be tobacco friendly, rather than family friendly.”

In 1997 Mr Dunne was the only Member of Parliament to vote against legislation that proposed raising the age at which young people could be sold tobacco from 16 to 18 years.

“Mr Dunne opposed legislation that raised the age at which drugs could be sold to children. His latest comments show that he continues to put his pro-tobacco views before any concerns about the family.”

EMDS

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