Website for smokers' views launched

Smokers feeling marginalised and alienated can voice their opinions on a new website launched by tobacco company Philip Morris New Zealand.

The website has been designed to help and inform people who buy tobacco products, on the range of regulations that might affect them.

Smokers can share their views through the website with each other, politicians and lobby groups.

Philip Morris spokesman Christopher Bishop said that while smokers understood the ban on smoking indoors, it was the series of tax hikes and the fact that it was becoming hard to smoke outdoors that was the problem.

''Smokers are telling us that regulation has gone too far, and they want a voice.''

The website identifies four areas of concern for smokers: tax hikes, outdoor smoking bans, proposed plain packaging policies and the requirement that retailers cover their tobaccos products.

Yesterday, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters criticised the anti-smoking lobby and Maori leaders, saying ordinary Maori were being saddled with a massive tax on smoking most of them did not want.

Mr Bishop said the banning of displays of cigarettes at the point of sale, which come into effect next week, would not stop people smoking.

''But it will be frustrating for consumers, as well as retailers. And when it comes to plain packaging, there's no evidence that it will reduce smoking. Our customers are telling us they can't see the point.''

Cards will be handed out promoting the website to smokers with their purchases from tomorrow.


Maoris don't want smoking tax says Peters

Wellington smokers targetted

Smokefree parks

Contact Shabnam Dastgheib
Breaking news reporter
Twitter: @shab_d

The Dominion Post