The Cigarette Plain Packaging deadline is today.
I'm not sure if ACT on Campus are making a submission, but here is my personal one:
Sent to the Ministry of Health (email@example.com)
Thank you for the opportunity to submit to you on this important issue.
I do not smoke, but I do not support the idea of plain packaging either.
It is not the role of the government to regulate the designs, layouts, colours, images, or content of packaging of any product in what is meant to be a free society.
This plan is simply government mandated censorship under the auspices of "the greater good" and I consider this proposal to be outright dangerous.
The precedent set by a decision to regulate the packaging of cigarettes would be one where any health official or politician could arbitrarily impinge on the rights of individuals or businesses if they believe that they know what is best for New Zealanders.
This is a very slippery slope downa path where the packaging of fast food, ice creams, sugary drinks, alcohol and more, would all be at the whim and control of political elites and unelected bureaucrats.
No doubt all manner of advertisements, aside from packaging, would follow soon after as well.
While I have no doubt that many of those who work at the Ministry of Health would actually welcome such restrictions on other aspects of our lives, this kind of regulated and controlled society is not the kind of place I want to live in.
It is the Ministry of Health's job to suggest ways of improving the health of our citizens, but these proposals should never overrule the freedoms and rights we enjoy.
No doubt many lives could be saved were we to lower the speed limit to 20km/s nationwide and require everyone to wear full motor-racing safety equipment every time they got in to a car - but we don't, because in truth, the fact that "lives are at stake" doesn't actually trump all other considerations in a free, liberal democracy.
I believe in letting people take responsibility for themselves and allowing them to freely make their own decisions and I therefore urge you to reject all proposals to regulate the packaging of cigarettes.