Friday, 19 February 2010

As I suspected

A couple of years back, I had a minor stoush with the anti-tobacco lobby over in the NZ Med Journal where I criticized them for, among other things, ignoring the enjoyment smokers derive from smoking. Nick Smith in The Independent confirms the existence of these benefits:
Pleasure is obtained by smoking, I assure you. It goes perfectly with three of life's best pastimes: eating, drinking and sex. When the deed is done, even during it, there is nothing better than placing a crisp filter between one's lips and savouring the intoxication of a craving fulfilled.
I'll take Smith's word for it!
Esquire magazine's fiction editor, Rust Hills, complained that "most advice you get about smoking and drinking comes from the wrong people. Their solution is worse than your problem."

Smith argues against an increase in the tobacco excise tax, sensibly noting Treasury's and others' findings that smokers pay a good deal more in tobacco taxes than they ever cost the public health system.

He also notes Maori Party support for much stricter tobacco regulation. This one puzzles me a bit. Maori smoking rates are higher than those for other groups and the tobacco tax is highly regressive (though somewhat less so if you note adjustments on the extensive margin). I wish that the NZES had data on whether the respondent smokes.

The NZMJ pieces are here, here and here; I also link to the anti-tobacco pieces here.


  1. Best line ever:

    "A recent working paper of mine proves that honest scholarly discourse requires that cited sources be openly available, but please don’t ask me for a copy."

    On the Maori Party thing, a cheap signal that they want to give up smoking?

  2. Did you like the cite to the working piece in the bibliography? I there note the paper is both unpublished and unwritten.

    I could buy cheap signal except that status as smoker or non-smoker tends to be the strongest determinant of preferences over restrictions on smoking, as I understand the US lit anyway.