icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
10 Dec, 2021 13:03

Ban cigarettes? The nanny state is out of control

Ban cigarettes? The nanny state is out of control

New Zealand plans to permanently ban everyone born after 2008 from buying cigarettes, with the aim of eradicating smoking completely. This is government interference on an unprecedented level, and who knows where it will lead to?

You know when you read something so ridiculous that you have to do a double-take, read it again, and then make sure it’s not an April fool? That’s what happened to me when I read about New Zealand’s proposed new law regarding smoking.

Since the onset of Covid, people have consented to the encroachment of the state in their lives like never before. On balance, it has been accepted for a good reason: saving lives.

However, I have always been concerned that some governments would use this new-found compliance to impose yet more draconian limits on freedom, and this is what is happening in New Zealand.

And it had to be New Zealand because like night follows day, it could be predicted that the Queen of Woke, PM Jacinda Ardern, would take society’s compliance one step further.

Many people were bemused by the fact that she locked down her country after only one case of the Delta variant of Covid was discovered, yet this pales into insignificance in comparison to her latest plan.

Under her government’s new proposals, which are expected to be passed next year, anyone who is now under the age of 14 will NEVER be allowed to purchase a pack of cigarettes in New Zealand. That’s right, if you’re born after 2008 then you will not be able to buy cigarettes in your lifetime on the islands.   

To put this in perspective, if you were born on December 31, 2008, you will be able to buy and smoke as many cigarettes as you like. But if you were unfortunate enough to be born the following day, then you will be treated as an overgrown baby for the rest of your life. Anyone else think this is scary? Because I sure do.

At the moment, 13% of New Zealanders smoke. That percentage leaps to around a third in Māori communities. Ardern’s aim is to reduce the number of New Zealanders who smoke to 5% by 2025 and then the ambition is to eradicate it completely.

It’s a noble, if somewhat utopian cause, but is the curtailment of liberty involved really worth it? Some are saying that it will result in an explosion of cigarettes on the black market.

This could potentially result in an explosion of crime. Indeed, the prohibition of alcohol in the United States in the 1920s led to the growth of large criminal cartels, with Al Capone’s gang of mobsters being the most famous. I’m not for a second suggesting Wellington of the 2020s is going to resemble 1920s Chicago, but I’m sure you get my drift. 

Research has also shown that unregulated black market cigarettes are far more dangerous than those which come from official sources. So, the whole thing could end up being self-defeating.

Also, how will this proposed new law be policed? Say, for example, someone who was born in 2008 walked into a shop, bought a packet of cigarettes and then handed it to someone who was born in 2009 to smoke. Who will be arrested, or fined? 

In years to come, will the New Zealand police be arresting people on the street who were born after 2008 for having a cigarette, or stopping them and asking for their birth certificate? It all sounds a bit Stasi-esque East Germany to me.    

And then there is the question of where all this madness will end? If this latest policy is taken to its logical conclusion, then Ardern will attempt to ban alcohol, fatty foods, and sugars next. After all, like smoking, they cause illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. So what’s the difference?

Is this really the kind of oppressive over-the-top nanny-state that New Zealanders really want to live in? Do they really want to be treated like overgrown children with the state dictating what pleasures they can take from life? Some obviously do, or they wouldn’t continue to vote for Ardern. 

A few weeks ago, I rewatched the Sylvester Stallone film ‘Demolition Man’. I hadn’t seen it since its release in the early 1990s and thought I was just putting on a mind-numbing action flick to pass the time. Instead, I found myself watching a depressing Nostradamus-like prediction of the future.   

It was set in the year 2032, where the world is made up of effeminate man-babies and overt political correctness. Swearing, smoking, alcohol, fatty foods and everything else that is fun are banned. Sound familiar? I recommend the film to anyone who is concerned about the future and woke culture.

And this Huxley-esque dystopian society is where Jacinda Ardern’s Brave New Zealand is headed. Lefties and liberals may well fawn over her, but in my opinion she is a very dangerous woman who is leading her country down a dark path.

New Zealanders must fight back against this nonsense because if they allow Ardern to get away with this proposed smoking law, then it could prove to be merely the thin edge of an authoritarian wedge.  

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.