Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Party Games 10/54 Smoker's Rights Party

First up on the single party roadshow is the Smoker's Rights Party. They feel smokers have been hard done by. High taxes on cigarettes, not being able to smoke in public venues, winnie blues no longer coming in a blue packet, it's a hard life. Apparently, slowly killing yourself is too expensive, and not being able to see the logo of your brand and instead getting a picture of what you're doing to yourself is unfair to the manufacturers and promotes black market activities since it's easier to counterfeit a plain packet (because everyone buying on the black market expects to be getting a legit product, or or they think supermarkets, local stores, and servos are going to buy cigarettes of guys off the back of a truck).

That said, I must concede they have a point. Given that I generally put drugs into the "I won't recommend it but I won't stop you from doing it" category, tobacco is just as much a drug as marijuana or alcohol. I guess I disagree with them on the level of taxation. They want taxes on tobacco at a level that covers the costs to the health system, while I'm happy to add on an extra "If you're stupid enough to want to die early, you deserve to be charged more" tax on top of that.

I also think banning smoking in public venues is a good thing. While living abroad I've been to places where there are no restrictions on smoking, and been to bars where the amount of smoke is so much it has stung my eyes. Not having to deal with this in Australian is a good thing.

I am a bit concerned at their claim that 20% of Australians smoke (the Cancer Council would disagree with them though). I had hoped that number would be lower, although I'm confident that they won't get the entire smoker vote.


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