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You're Next, Delamere

Libertarianz Deputy Leader Richard McGrath rubbished Associate Health Minister Delamere's call for the incarceration of tobacco company executives. "Mr Delamere wants to spend the money of taxpayers, most of whom are non-smokers, to prosecute tobacco companies," said McGrath. "These are the same companies that Delamere and his cronies have milked millions of dollars from over many years to bankroll government spending. Isn't this a bit hypocritical?"

"Smokers have for years subsidised the health costs of everyone else. Taxes on cigarettes have for years provided many millions more than even the highest estimates of smoking related illnesses" said Dr McGrath. "Let's face it, as long as we let politicians spend our tax dollars organising a substandard health system for us, we'll have to put up with crusaders like Delamere dictating what we can eat, drink and smoke."

Dr McGrath, a Wairarapa general practitioner, sees patients every day suffering from tobacco-related illnesses. "I haven't met a single person who took up the habit against their will, nor one that hasn't been aware of the potential for harm from smoking. All the same I would vigorously defend the right of people to indulge in risk-taking activities such as crossing the road, flying in an aeroplane, eating organically grown food, or smoking cigarettes." Libertarianz believe smokers searching for a scapegoat when illness comes after years of tobacco consumption should try looking in the mirror.

McGrath warns the minister that successful litigation against tobacco companies could be followed by lawsuits against the health ministers that allowed tobacco sales to continue while knowing the potential for harm. "Two can play at that game," McGrath added. "Mr Delamere should consider whether he would really like to share a jail cell with Simon Upton."


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