Mixed views on changes


A pack-a-day smoker says he feels concerned when he sees young people smoking, and wants to make them to stop.

“When I see the young ones smoking, I just want to rip the cigarette out of their hand – even though I smoke a pack of the things a day myself,” he said.

“So, if this new packaging helps to discourage them, then it’s a good thing.”

The Star canvassed the opinions of smokers on the streets of Dunedin this week about the introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco products.

While none were willing to give their names, most felt the new packaging would have little impact on their smoking habits.

However, most also acknowledged they would like to quit eventually.

A woman who has smoked for the past eight years supported the move, saying the graphic images could help to discourage young people from taking up the habit.

“There could be other progressive moves, such as gradually raising the age limit,” she said.

The rising cost of cigarettes was more likely to make them quit, other smokers said.

“A pouch of my tobacco is $57, which may last a week if I’m lucky – that’s a lot of money,” one woman said.

One man believed the new packaging would be wasted on him.

“I don’t think it will affect me, apart from feeling they are telling us [smokers] off by doing it,” he said.