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Open letter to Smokefree Coalition

An open letter to Smokefree Coalition director, Mark Peck

Mr Mark Peck Director Smokefree Coalition 27 March 2008

Dear Mr Peck, In response to your emails of the 20th, 25th and the 27th of March demanding to know how the Stay Displays Coalition is funded.

The Stay Displays Coalition of Retailers, its more than 200 active retailers and the thousands of supporting individuals around New Zealand who have signed our petition have been successful thus far on getting retailers' messages into the public domain through the use of a website, media and voluntary work.

We thank the hundreds of retailers who have downloaded our petition from the website and sent it back to us filled with the names and signatures of voters, most of them non-smokers who agree banning displays of tobacco is taking the nanny state a bridge too far and that outlawing displays is, well, just "stupid".

We are encouraged by their comments and support for our position. We intend to continue making our views known. To better achieve this, we could do with some money. As you probably know, dairy and convenience store owners, tobacconists and other retailers work extremely long hours each day to run their businesses and, unlike government-funded NGOs like yours, don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on lobbying and promotional work.

Perhaps the Smokefree Coalition would like to pass on some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers' money you receive? In the interests of democracy, of course! Unlike your organisation that merely spends taxpayer money, Stay Displays retailers contribute to the economy and local communities. Your proposals threaten the very survival of the dairy and the small local store.

You do not need to feel threatened by us. It is important for the proper workings of our society that everyone's views are taken into account when legislation is promoted and which affects, in this case, only retailers.



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