The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is allegedly expected to go smoke-free by 2020, according to the latest news exploring future moves of the New Zealand government. In fact, this move is prognosticated to repute the NZDF as the first-ever smoke-free armed defense force in the world. However, Rt. Hon. Winston Peters of New Zealand First labels the smoke-free move as “hypocrisy” while also rounding up the media and political correctness in a single swoop.
Smoke-free Move by New Zealand Government a Hypocrisy?
It is hard for everyone else looking at the scenario from the outside to believe that the NZDF will actually stub out smoking by the next three years. There could be plans taking shape to eliminate smoking from military housing through a ban of tobacco and cigarette sale at army camps and bases. The move was announced at an event with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a smoke-free charity, at the Parliament.
Peters has different thoughts on the government’s smoke-free move in view of the rise in taxes imposed on tobacco and cigarette purchase. According to him, that screams hypocrisy on the part of the government’s anti-cigarette smoking target by 2025 and is unfair on the military troops who risk their lives when sent to battlefields.
2025 Smoke-free Goal Not Cemented Yet
Robert Beaglehole, ASH chair and Emeritus professor hopes the NZDF smoke-free plan to be an example for other New Zealand government agencies to follow. Commander Karen Ward thinks the move could be a benchmark for other armed forces. However, the 2025 smoke-free goal is not set in stone yet as ASH calls for an evidence-based and strong roadmap to achieve it.