MP Marama Fox walked out on an interview with Imperial Tobacco’s Axel Gietz on The Nation yesterday:
An impassioned Ms Fox, whose party has been fighting against the high rate of smoking among Maori, appeared fed up with Mr Gietz’s arguments towards the end when he argued it was a legal product that people chose to smoke.
“Imperial Tobacco make billions of dollars every year profiting off misery and death. You are a peddler of death… and you come to New Zealand in some `public service’ to help us in the debate when we already know that it kills our children.
“I am not going to listen to you. I think you should crawl back into the hole that is reserved for the corporate executioners like yourself… I am sorry, I’ve had enough.” . . .
“For the last 27 years I have not attended a funeral of someone in our family — and I’ve attended numerous funerals — who has died of natural causes.
“They [smoking diseases] are putting our people in the graveyard, and you and your companies are addicting people to cigarettes and telling us it’s their free choice and that’s fine, we are going to profit off the death of your people.”
I am anti-smoking to a point just short of bigotry.
I understand how addictive tobacco is and therefore why it is so hard to quit smoking but I have yet to hear a credible argument as to why anyone would start smoking in the first place.
It’s always been a revolting thing to do and now it’s also a very expensive and increasingly difficult habit to have as smoke-free areas expand.
Tobacco is legal but I can’t think of any other legal product that is so dangerous if used exactly as it’s designed to be.
MSsFox is right – tobacco companies profit off people’s addiction to their product and it’s a product that kills.