ANOTHER POSITIVE FOR JACINDA ARDERN.
Right-wingers take aim at Jacinda Ardern, yet, her response to the Christchurch Massacre, and in her presence on the international stage, she hasn’t put a foot wrong. The latest move by the New Zealand Government, to outlaw smoking, is something that I say, has to be a positive.
I remember, when I was six, telling my mother that when I grew up, I was going to smoke. She said that she hoped I didn’t. And, I can say, that was one childhood thing that I did not carry through.
When I was a teenager, at high school, I used to regularly hear the school deputy principal tell us that we shouldn’t smoke. He referenced the cancer ward at a major hospital, and the fact that nicotine was more addictive than heroin. I remember him addressing the school on August 14, 1987, about chewing gum and he said, “Now, whether or not you chew gum, is your business. I’m not saying that you can’t. What I’m saying is, don’t chew gum at school.” If I had been the school principal or deputy principal, I would have said, “I can give you numerous reasons why you shouldn’t smoke, but I can’t make you stop. What I can do, however, is say, don’t smoke cigarettes at school, or at any time when you are wearing the uniform. If you must smoke, have a cigarette before school, then shower and brush your teeth, and then, after school, go home and change your clothes and then you can smoke!”
One person complained that smokers were treated like second class citizens, to which I say, “Okay, consider the fact that cigarette smoke can be a cause of asthma attacks. Should the right of an asthmatic to enjoy the company of their friends one night exceed the right of someone to blow their smoke wherever? In my opinion, the answer is yes.” And should the right of a restaurant worker to not have to breathe your smoke not exceed your right to smoke? And should a non-smoking rental car company customer have to smell smoke in the air-conditioning unit, the upholstery and carpets because you want to smoke? No.
And let’s face it, some people may be able to start smoking at 14 and live until 92 and pass away in their sleep, having had their last cigarette an hour before bed. But more people die of cancer or heart attacks from smoking. If smoking related illnesses can be reduced, that has to be a good thing.
This is not a case of a nanny state. No more so than compulsory seatbelts or vaccine mandates.