[Mon, August 22, 2022 — Washington, DC] Today, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) submitted evidence to be considered by the New Zealand Parliament in an effort to revise the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill. This bill, unaltered, would significantly limit the number of retailers able to sell premium cigars and removes the ability of adults to make decisions for themselves in the future. The year restriction for tobacco sales would ban all people born on or after January 1, 2009, from ever buying tobacco products, effectively banning tobacco sales moving forward.
The PCA submitted a comment specifically crafted for the New Zealand’s Parliament’s Health Committee. PCA’s comment relied heavily on the health effects of premium cigar use not warranting graphic images and warning labels, or any more regulation than are already placed on these products. New Zealand has some of the strictest tobacco laws in the world; not to mention, an incredibly high tax on tobacco products. These are efforts are not based in science; but is based on the premise that the government acknowledges that they do not believe average adults can make decisions for themselves.
The studies on the health effects of premium cigars, youth access and usage, and the declining rate of smoking are out readily available. The data clearly shows there is no need to take this simple pleasure away from people and is yet another example of the anti-tobacco groups and their allies in government moving the goal posts yet again.
“It is important we stand with the premium cigar industry, whether it is local, state, federal or international,” said Scott Pearce, PCA Executive Director. “This policy directly aims to shutter retailer storefronts in New Zealand and aims to deprive adult consumers their freedom to choose whether or not to enjoy premium cigars,” Pearce said.
Joshua Habursky, PCA Deputy Executive Director and Head of Government Affairs echoed Pearce’s statement, saying bad policy has a tendency to spread beyond borders at unfortunate rates. “We don’t want to see New Zealand export these draconian policies elsewhere in the world and hope they strongly reconsider the anti-democratic nature of this initiative,” said Habursky.
What do you think, Cigar Public…does bad policy anywhere pose a danger to good policy everywhere? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!