Smoker Peter Wilkinson, of Dunedin, says the new
legislation is a good thing. Photo by Peter Mcintsoh.
It was D-Day for tobacco advertising yesterday, but the
peace pipe will be extended to retailers breaking the new
smoke-free legislation for a period yet.
Public Health South smoke-free officers started conducting
checks at tobacco retailers yesterday, "but, we'll be working
with retailers to concentrate more on education than
enforcement at this stage", a Public Health South spokesman
The Smoke-free Environments Act, prohibiting the display or
advertising of tobacco products, came into effect yesterday
and retailers who fail to meet the requirements of the Act
risk prosecution and a fine of up to $10,000.
Of tobacco retailers visited by the Otago Daily Times
yesterday, only Andy's Milk Bar in Mosgiel still displayed
Owner Alice Luo said a signwriter had been contacted about
amending the sign.
However, Grocery King owner Graham Murphie, who operates
tobacco outlets in Hillside Rd and Gordon Rd, said the
legislation would not impact on tobacco sales.
"People are cutting down, but cessation is not taking place.
We're down to the hard-core smokers now.
"Most of them have already tried to quit and failed. They
just can't do it."
A sign on Andy's Milk Bar in Mosgiel yesterday, which is
illegal under the new smoke-free legislation. Photo by
Retailers made a 10.66% margin on a tobacco sale, he
"It's going to mean the end of the corner dairy. About 30% of
the profit from a corner dairy comes from tobacco."
However, the new legislation also received support from some
unlikely quarters yesterday.
Brothers Bob and Peter Wilkinson, of Dunedin, started smoking
50 years ago when they were at school and agreed it was time
to ban tobacco advertising.
"I think it's fair enough. There's no need to advertise it.
"I reckon I would never have started without advertising,"
Peter (63) said.
"Every time you saw a film star, he had a smoke in his mouth.
That was even more influential to us than advertising."
"Smoking is definitely a limited thing," Bob (56) agreed.
"But I think people our age should be able to get it on
prescription, so the kids can't get their hands on it."