“Peddler of death” – Fox

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.

18 Responses to “Peddler of death” – Fox

  1. Will says:

    What a pathetic performance from Fox. “Imperial (?) Tobacco make millions of dollars.” That seems to be the extent of her argument.

    I have never smoked but those brands are private property. If you allow the State to run rough-shod over private property rights once, they will never stop. “First they came for…etc.”

  2. Paranormal says:

    I thoughts Fox’s performance was typical. Blaming everyone else for Maori behaviour rather than looking at their own lack of leadership.

  3. Andrei says:

    Its all hyperbole anyway – the life expectancy if a lifelong smoker is reduced a little, from that of a non smoker about three years from memory.

    It’s true that smokers are far more likely to die from lung cancer than non smokers and slightly more likely to die from heart disease but this is balanced by the fact they are less likely to die from other diseases because at the end of the day we are all mortal

    And the smokers whose funerals I’ve attended were all elderly 65+

    The people I have known that have dropped dead young were without exception the super fit – Rod Donald anyone?

    This woman, a lifelong smoker died of an aortic aneurysm aged 77

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    “the life expectancy if a lifelong smoker is reduced a little, from that of a non smoker about three years from memory.”

    I think your memory played tricks, Andre, lifelong smoking reduces at least 10 years from a person’s life and the quality of their later life may no be that good.
    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/

    I agree with Ele, tobacco companies profit from a product the has a considerable negative impact on the health of consumers and those in close proximity.

    The average age most long term smokers started was around 14 years, a time when slick advertising and brands are most attractive.

    http://www.ash.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Factsheets/07_Youth_smoking_ASH_NZ_factsheet.pdf

    My belief is that we should collectively protect and educate our young people as best we can to ensure they can make the best of their lives and so they don’t become a burden to the state in later life. There is a moral and fiscal reason for stopping people from becoming addicted to tobacco. I would also say that it isn’t a “Maori problem” but a problem largely related to poverty and poor mental health:
    http://smokefree.org.nz/smoking-its-effects/facts-figures

  5. Andrei says:

    “There are lies damn liies and statistics” – Dave Kennedy

    Not that you’ld understand that being a Green and like all Greens functionally innumerate

    People who belong to groups like Ash are the 21st century equivalents of 16th century heretic burners – not as lethal but equally fanatical – dreary obsessive people whose lives are so empty that they have nothing better to do than interfere with other peoples lives over matters that are none of their fucking business

    And they are full of bullshit – not that a Green would understand that because believing bullshit is a prerequisite for being a Green ans is stupidity and naivety

    I agree that we should discourage tobacco use among young people but we should not lie to do it and at the end of the day an adult should be free to make their own choices good or bad

    If you smoke you increase your chances of developing lung cancer in latter life, if you are a man who has sex with other men you increase your chances of bum cancer and if you climb Mt Everest there is a good chance you will die in a place where your body cannot be recovered

    You pays your money and you take your chances but not one of us will be here in 2116 and that’s a fact and no amount of ninnyism, nannyism or hectoring by self appointed busybodies can change that fact

  6. Roger Barton says:

    Andrei you could have added that Tandor Nachos (or Nandor Tanchos?) was open about smoking green weed and his stance seemed to be supported by the Green hierarchy.
    Why are some now swimming in the other direction.
    The bigger scourge in NZ is gambling. Lotto winners are too often heralded on page one of newspapers as being local heroes.
    Luck only comes before work in the dictionary.

  7. Andrei says:

    There is a fundamental philosophical question over this matter of our elites desire to make New Zealand “smokefree” by 2025

    We are not herd animals malleable to the desires and ambitions of our ruling class but independent entities free to make our own choices in so much as they do not impact others

    We will willingly subject ourselves to laws if the benefits of doing so out way the costs of compliance

    But drug taking is a human thing to do and the question becomes are the social costs of a particular drug high enough to make prohibition with its costs worth it

    We know two things – (1) When a drug is banned or made expensive with punitive taxation alternatives are found and black markets appear

    (2) We have the sad example of American Prohibition of Alcohol and the cost to American society that that entailed including the rise of organized crime which still exists today even though the laws that gave it its start are long gone

    Tobacco itself is fairly innocuous in the scheme of things and the questions we should be asking is the goal of ridding NZ of it worth the consequences because something else will take its place and even now with the price of Tobacco we are seeing violent armed robberies of Tobacco outlets, the value of the product making the risks worthwhile for the thieves.

    In the meantime moves are afoot to legalize cannabis – odd

  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, you do get very abusive and personal with your arguments. It is interesting how the groups and individuals that attempt to advocate for a reduction of harm from damaging substances like tobacco and alcohol are attacked by the likes of yourself as “dreary obsessive people whose lives are so empty that they have nothing better to do than interfere with other peoples lives over matters that are none of their fucking business”

    When most long term smokers start at around 14 years, I totally disagree with you. These young people should be protected from industries that use smart advertising and subtle promotion to capture the young and vulnerable.

    You claim ASH are full of bullshit and yet they seem to be supported by the Ministry of Health:
    http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/addictions/smoking/health-effects-smoking

    Your own facts (only 3 years off life expectancy) make you an apologist for the industry and your attempts to down play the health and economic ramifications are appalling. The Ministry of Health estimates that smoking costs our economy, and the taxpayer, $1.9 billion a year, hardly a minor cough…

  9. Andrei says:

    These young people should be protected from industries that use smart advertising and subtle promotion to capture the young and vulnerable.

    The entire advertising industry is based upon manipulating people to do what the people who use their services want Dave Kennedy – that is its raison d’etre

    And people are herd animals, a large majority of whom prefer not to think for themselves, perhaps are even incapable of doing so

    In the real world most teenagers experiment with all sorts of things including drugs. Those of us who have attained adulthood do our very best to warn them of the dangers and to shield them from the dangers they face in this wicked world and the corrupting influences of the malignant people who seek to lead them astray to advance their own ends, whether they be Tobacco company executives or Green party politicians.

    Which is more dangerous to our young – a tobacco company executive running a heavily regulated industry or a Green Party politician promoting sexual deviancy as normal and desirable? Hmmm

    I don’t think smoking is desirable and do think it should be discouraged but I also think the time energy and money put into stamping it out is dangerous foolishness because tobacco is out in the open and heavily regulated while other far more dangerous alternatives are hiding in the shadows to fill the gap

    Kids huff butane, sniff glue, smoke marijuana etc We have the “P” along with other dangerous drugs to contend with.

    How much have we spent trying to stamp out marijuana over the past 40 years? And what has been achieved in this arena – nothing!

    Its use is more common today than it was 40 years ago. Probably 80% or more of New Zealanders or more have smoked it, our prisons are full of drug offenders and millions of dollars are spent annually locating and destroying crops, which only serve to make the growing of the plants more profitable for those whose plants don’t get destroyed

    How dumb can politicians be?

    In the scheme of things tobacco use does not carry a high social cost and is regulated. Trying to stamp it out using high taxation and so forth will only increase the social costs involved with its use you dumb bunny

  10. Paranormal says:

    DK suggests: “The Ministry of Health estimates that smoking costs our economy, and the taxpayer, $1.9 billion a year”

    More Green maths & economics. If you’ve ever looked at how that number is calculated you would see it is entirely based on assumptions, fairydust and BS.

  11. Andrei says:

    Let me explain how it is supposed to work Dave Kennedy

    Ideally those who govern do so with the consent of the governed and those who do not consent have to be held in line with oppressive methods such as locking them up or torturing them or killing them. We only do the locking people up thing in New Zealand

    When laws are passed if the vast majority agree with the law, and thus consent there is no problem. So, for example, our legislation regarding child pornography is supported by 98%+ of the adult population and when people fall afoul of this legislation we give them no sympathy and consider it justice to lock them up and would be quite content for the powers that be to throw away the key

    But the laws surrounding marijuana do not have the same level of support, in fact it would not surprise me if the majority do not support these laws and I know a majority of the population has at some time or another violated them and thus enforcing them is a far more expensive proposition than enforcing child pornography laws and perhaps extends into the area where me might see these laws as tyrannical and unjust – people are deprived of their God given freedom and have their property seized

    What we should seek is as few laws as possible and the greatest freedom of action and choice for people as we can manage while maintaining a stable and safe society and allow our Government as little power over us as is practicable to maintain this

    We will never live in a perfect world my friend and we have to share it with people who want to live and operate in ways that we might disapprove – no amount of legislation will make it perfect (just the reverse in fact) and those with power using legislation to make people conform to their own standards and belief systems is tyranny

  12. Paranormal says:

    Totally agree Andrei. Unfortunately you are wasting your breath on an unreserved statist authoritarian Green.

  13. TraceyS says:

    Who will be next to be called a “peddler of death”?

    http://www.odt.co.nz/campus/university-otago/388394/moderate-drinking-linked-cancer

    “These premature deaths from cancer resulted in an average 10.4 years of life lost per person affected, with more loss of life among Maori than non-Maori, and for breast cancer compared with other cancers.”

    “While these alcohol-attributable cancer deaths are only 4.2% of all cancer deaths under 80, what makes them so significant is that we know how to avoid them,” Prof Connor said.”

    We do? “We” only know how to avoid them using manipulative or punitive means against other people. Which proves that we don’t know much at all.

    Plain packaging is but a sticking plaster over the much bigger and deeper problem of addiction.

  14. Andrei says:

    “These premature deaths from cancer resulted in an average 10.4 years of life lost per person affected, with more loss of life among Maori than non-Maori, and for breast cancer compared with other cancers.”

    “While these alcohol-attributable cancer deaths are only 4.2% of all cancer deaths under 80, what makes them so significant is that we know how to avoid them,” Prof Connor said.”

    LOL – these Government funded eggheads are as superstitious as any medieval peasant. If you indulge in behaviors they disapprove of you will be punished by getting cancer.

    Funny how nobody has ever linked eating tofu or mung beans to developing cancer in later life, though I bet given the number of cancers and the fact that at least 30% of the population eventually develop one or more it would be easily done by torturing the statistics

    The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

  15. TraceyS says:

    If not wine in my glass, at least I’m allowed to have milk once more…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/07/full-fat-milk-may-drastically-reduce-risk-of-diabetes—study/

  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, your comments are irrational and without basis. To claim that Government Departments are “as superstitious as any medieval peasant” is plain nonsense and to claim that Green party politicians “promote sexual deviancy as normal and desirable” is libelous. The fact that such comments draw support here is also concerning.

    The Green Party’s main concern with any of our policies around drugs is reducing harm.

    I cannot believe the high level of support for the tobacco industry here and the enthusiasm for allowing it to still have influence on young and vulnerable people.

    Good grief!

  17. Andrei says:

    Andrei, your comments are irrational and without basis.

    You think Dave Kennedy?

    Did you read Tracey’s link?

    This choice excerpt

    The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

    In 2012, alcohol was responsible for 236 cancer deaths in people younger than 80 in New Zealand, the research found.

    80 isn’t young Dave Kennedy but it just happens to be the life expectancy of New Zealanders in the 21st century – so reading between the lines they seem to be claiming anyone who dies before 80 as a “premature death”.

    Do you have any concept of how extraordinary an achievement it is to raise our life expectancy to 80? That is nearly double what is was in 1900!

    Or what is involved in keeping people alive and well in the extra years of life we have achieved? And what actually it costs?

    While our politicians are indulging in hyperbolic rhetoric like “calling someone a “Peddler of death” we are ignoring soaring health costs that arise keeping the elderly fit and healthy by keeping the degenerative diseases that we are all subject to at bay

    Hip replacements, cataract surgeries etc etc etc the list of maladies is endless as well as dealing with cancer and heart disease which strike people down and have nothing to do with tobacco or alcohol in most cases – bowel cancer is a biggie and that apparently is due to eating red meat or so they say. They are going to roll out an expensive screening program for that to prevent more “premature deaths” among the over sixties

    I’m not against this you understand Dave Kennedy au contraire I have had well over $40,000 worth of surgery on my eyes for which I’m grateful because without it I’d be blind, which is what would have happened in most of the world

    But I can tell you people who live to 80+ do not usually get there without some very expensive medical interventions along the way

    And this is what we need to talk about not blaming tobacco,alcohol or red meat eating for our misfortunes but recognizing that as we get older our bodies suffer from degenerative diseases – which particular ones that strike us may have lifestyle and genetic precursors or they may not but regardless they will strike everyone who lives long enough one way or another

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    “But I can tell you people who live to 80+ do not usually get there without some very expensive medical interventions along the way”

    Andrei, you should work for a tobacco company. Your suggestion that lung cancer, throat cancer and reduced respiratory capacity occurs isn’t a significant factor in life expetency, is nonsense. Quality of life is also important and a lot of degenerative illnesses and expensive medical interventions need not occur if it wasn’t for smoking. Obviously we will all die of something but i would rather it be largely of old age than something preventable.

    The longitudinal Dunedin research revealed that ones physical health isn’t tied to chronological age as much as once believed and for the study group now in their 40s they had physical ages that extended from 25 years to 65 years. We are now approaching a generation that may not live as long as the previous one because of life styles and habits that are actually influenced by corporate interests. The predominance of sugar and processed food in our diets is leading to a obesity and diabetes epidemic that will cost taxpayers hugely.

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