we have properly enforced law, as now in Australia thanks to the Australian CCC,
(whose lead the NZ Commerce Commission tends to follow), the argument
for an internet sales ban to control tobacco advertising disappears.
Example #1. Internet sales
could help prevent direct cigarette shop purchases by young
part of a campaign to end cigarette sales, we might as a stepping stone
to a full sales ban, wish to gradually close down all retail outlets
for smoking tobacco, so as to deny the opportunity
to children and teenagers under 18 to buy their own cigarettes -
as a large proportion do, despite the under 18 law. This
could only be done at present if there was an internet sales
facility (within the excise tax jurisdiction, so that purchasers
paid the required tobacco excise). Internet sales require credit
cards, barred to under 18s. This arrangement
surely gives better control
than by restricting sales to, for example, bottle
stores, and relying on them to enforce the under 18s sales ban.
Example # 2. Internet sales
reduce harm by making smokeless available for personal use.
If internet tobacco sales were banned,
smokers in both Australia and New Zealand would not be able to access
snus even for personal use as they can at present. Some years ago,
smokeless users were allegedly 5 000 in Australia (Tobacco in
Australia, a Quit Victoria publication) but now only
some still use it, and these too, would revert to smoking, if
internet sales were also banned.
Snuff (in Sweden,
snus) is one of the safest ways to satisfy a nicotine addiction, and could help more smokers
quit and switch in future. In future, many will learn to like snus in Sweden, Norway and possibly the EU
countries, and if they can’t get it, they will revert to smoking.
Examples of over-regulation of oral smokeless tobacco with
Case in point # 1. Pituri – an Australian example
ban on internet tobacco sales needs to be careful to ensure than people
who use non-smoking tobaccos can buy it. At present smokeless pituri, used by indigenous Australians for
thousands of years, along with all other forms of smokeless
tobacco, is banned in Queensland and in most Australian
states except perhaps WA, (Reference Tobacco in Australia, a
Quit Victoria publication). This is a tragedy
for nicotine-dependent indigenous Australians who have no option
but to smoke, which is far more dangerous. Pituri
could otherwise be useful as the basis for a uniquely Australian
smokeless brand, much safer than hand-rolled tobacco.
Case in point # 2 . Snus - a New Zealand example
In 1990 New Zealand banned oral tobacco
in New Zealand. No-one could foresee that
snus was going to help reduce smoking and lung cancer in Sweden. Today
without that ban NZ would now be 17 years down the Swedish
road, and many thousands of our smokers would probably have
switched and avoided lung damage by now.