From today’s NZ Herald
A controversial scheme for complete state control of New Zealand’s tobacco industry is being given a fair hearing at the Ministry of Health.
Wellington public health researchers, planning for the “end-game” of tobacco control, have floated the idea of a non-profit tobacco authority to take over the distribution and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco, forcing out the three multinationals that now control the industry.
Under the scheme of Dr Nick Wilson and his Wellington School of Medicine colleagues, attractive or established names like Holiday, Marlboro and Rothmans would be wiped, with their distinctive packaging.
A single type of cigarette would be sold in plain packets featuring only health warnings and quit-smoking information.
The authority would regularly increase the price to deter smoking, using its income to help prevent children taking up the habit, expand quitting assistance and develop ways to reduce the harm caused by tobacco…..”
New Zeal Just shows you don’t have to be smart to be a doctor. Apart from the damage such a move would do to NZ’s business reputation, it would simply lead to a black market in tobacco.
If doctors really want to cut smoking (I hate tobacco and ban it in my home and business), they should advocate free market solutions.
In modern times, smoking is most common amongst the ignorant and the poor.
Free up education, so we have fewer ignorant people.
Reduce taxes and regulation and state welfare so we have fewer poor and more self responsible individuals.
Get the state out of health. If all health was run by private business, charitable trusts, iwi, religious orders etc, more people would have an incentive to look after their own wellbeing.
Currently, if you smoke, the taxpayer pays to treat your cancer or emphysema, or your employer covers your absenteeism.
In a free society, you could smoke all you like as long as you pay the hospital bills or fork out for the much costlier health insurance premiums.
The state would not be involved. Each individual would weigh up the very marginal benefits against the very real costs.
Vices like smoking flourish under socialism, because the downside is spread around all members of society.
In a free society, I think smoking, drinking, drug taking etc would reduce very quickly as people were forced to confront the real consequences of their stupid actions.