Kiwis could be relied on to dob in people smoking in cars if a law banning the practice was passed, says Associate Health minister Tariana Turia
The Maori Party is calling for a ban on smoking in cars, and wants the government to consider supporting a law change.The Maori Party wants New Zealand to be smokefree by 2025, and Mrs Turia says banning smoking in cars will help.
"I've never supported smoking in cars. When I see people smoking around their children, basically trapped in a car with somebody who smokes, I can't help but wonder at whether the messages get through.
"I am increasingly surprised, although I shouldn't be, at the amount of people who smoke with small children in their car,"she told MSN NZ.
She said if the law makes it through parliament she is confident most people would report a smoker in a car, and thinks it would be particularly popular with parents of young children.
Ms Turia said much like the recent texting while driving law changes, a fine would turn most people off smoking in their car.
A poll on MSN NZ earlier this year showed 64 per cent of Kiwis are in favour of banning smoking in public places. But the Maori Party’s call to outlaw the sale of cigarettes that look like lollies earlier this week prompted outrage from many MSN NZ readers who believe politicians are going too far in their fight to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025.
“Think it’s about time governments were banned because they obviously have nothing better to do than come up with utter b.........t that costs us a fortune. I smoke, I enjoy it, I’m aware of the dangers to my health but it’s my choice. I don’t smoke around others, I pay more than enough tax each time I buy them, I have my own medical insurance so taxpayers don't have to foot the bill if I end up with a related disease, but it seems everything is blamed on smoking these days,” said Sandra from the Bay of Plenty.
“Political correctness gone mad. We are living in a nanny state,” said Blaze, of Raglan.
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But Turia said her tough position on smoking was only to help the message get through to New Zealanders.
"It’s not about attacking people who smoke it’s about the substance -tobacco."
Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out a further hike in tobacco excise tax in the May 24 budget, after lobbying from the Maori Party.
There have been three 10 per cent increases in the price of cigarettes over the last two years, bringing the government an extra $200 million in revenue which now totals more than $1 billion a year.
But Turia says the price hike has also forced the largest drop in young people taking up smoking.
Would you dob some one in if you saw them smoking in car? Have your say below