The National Party has recently introduced two candidates, Todd Barclay and Christopher Bishop, who have previously worked for the tobacco industry.
Both are proclaiming to anyone who will listen that working for big tobacco does not define who they are as people or as candidates.
Cigarette smoking kills over 5000 New Zealanders each year; more than road crashes, alcohol, drugs, suicide, murder, drowning and earthquakes all put together. By working for the tobacco industry, these candidates have shown that they are happy to promote the illness, suffering and death of other New Zealanders in return for their own financial benefit.
In contrast to their claims, I argue that this does define them, both as candidates and as human beings.
DR MARK SMITH
- The Southland Times