I don’t know what it is like in other parts of the world but in New Zealand smokers are getting shafted by constant price rises that are supposed to stop people smoking. For instance the Ministry of Health says “About 600,000 adults (15.7%) were current smokers, down from 20.1% in 2006/07.” which pretty much means the amount of smokers has stayed the same over time. All that has happened is the government has found a group of people captured by addiction that it can leech off with little consequence. And leeching is what is happening. Smokers in New Zealand have likely been paying more than they cost the health system since at least 2007. They are subject to constant negative advertising and social exclusion. They are banned from public and private workspaces and yet there have been no investigations into the affects of these measures on smokers.
For instance I asked the Coronial Services what percentage of suicide victims were cigarette smokers and recieved the reply,
“However, Coronial Services does not hold statistics on whether any of those people were smokers. We will therefore have to decline this part of your request under section 18(g) of the OIA in that the information does not exist.”
This is a good example of why smokers need to band together into a political party and start forcing the issue. No one seems to care for them at the current political level so a Smokers Party to protect their interests would seem to be a good idea.