Smoking ban poll causes alarm

23 June 2003 22:19:00


The opinion poll results on the banning of smoking in bars and restaurants are alarming, says Libertarianz deregulation of health spokesman Dr. Richard Goode. The UMR poll, released yesterday, shows that half of New Zealanders now support a total ban on smoking in bars, and two thirds support a total ban in restaurants. Goode says, "It is disturbing to see that fully half of New Zealanders now think that it is morally okay to boss the rest of us around."

"In fact, it’s the business of restaurant and bar owners to choose whether or not to allow smoking on their premises, and the business of diners and drinkers to decide which establishments – smoker-friendly or not – to patronise. We don’t need and don’t want the likes of Helen Clark, Annette King and Leigh Sturgiss of the Smokefree Coalition to help us mind our own business. They can butt out."

"The issue is not about protection from second-hand smoke – after all, grown adults can decide for themselves whether or not they wish to enter smoker-friendly premises for work or leisure. The real issue is the creeping moral cancer represented by the continuing erosion of individual liberties in this country, and the ongoing rejection of the notion of personal responsibility. The Smokefree Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill is just another step on the way towards a nanny state where do-gooders and government busybodies control every aspect of our lives."

Despite vociferous protests from the hospitality industry – an industry that this legislation will seriously damage – and from those who still believe that freedom of choice is worth having, Dr. Goode is pessimistic about stopping the passage of the bill. He suggests that it may only be when the government enacts a ban on drinking alcohol in bars and eating fatty foods in restaurants that we wake up to the real issues.

For further information please contact:
Dr Richard Goode
00 (61) 402 596 242