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Smoking Gone - Along With Freedom

Thursday 4 Dec 2003
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health


ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today expressed her disappointment - but not surprise - that Labour had tonight managed to make the legal illegal, after the passing of the third reading of the Smokefree Environments Amendment Bill.

"The passing of this Bill into law means that smoking in any indoor public place - previously a legal activity - will now be illegal," Mrs Roy said.

"Good law should be enforceable and routinely enforced. This law, however, will be largely toothless. While penalties of up to $4,000 will be imposed on licensees or managers who allow patrons light up on their premises, the culprits themselves will escape with impunity.

"Clearly, this is definitely not good law. Many pubs have already informed me that they intend to flout the law, as they are worried that their patronage will decline to a point where their business is no longer financially viable.

"ACT does not advocate smoking, but we do believe that people have the right to choose to smoke - despite the risks - and to take responsibility for the consequences. Legislation banning smoking in public places takes away that right, and assumes that New Zealanders cannot make their own decisions.

"Tonight has seen yet another nail brutally hammered into the coffin of our personal freedom. The message from Labour is abundantly clear: New Zealanders are not fit to make decisions about their own health, or how they should behave in public. What else would you expect from such a nanny Government?" Mrs Roy said

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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