Inside New Zealand: Dying For A Smoke on TV3

8:30pm – Wednesday, July 6 on TV 3

This week sees the Inside New Zealand documentary series continuing with Dying For A Smoke, screening on Wednesday, July 6 th at 8:30pm on 3. Inside New Zealand: Dying For A Smoke investigates New Zealand’s smoking problem, specifically focusing on smoking among Maori, but also looking at trends within the wider community. The documentary features personal stories of smokers – people like Natasha who started smoking when she was very young.

“I started smoking Port Royal at 11,” Natasha explains about her addiction. “I’m still smoking it.” And now she can’t give up… even though she’s pregnant. “When I got pregnant I started smoking more, a lot more… I was worried about how it would affect the baby, but I still can’t give up.”

What’s most alarming about Natasha’s story is that it’s not an unusual one. In order to understand the reasons behind this, Dying For A Smoke looks at how tobacco is marketed – seeking comments from industry experts like Jeffrey Wigand – the subject of the film The Insider. He says many problems with tobacco can be tracked back to the marketing strategies of the tobacco companies.

“The industry goes after children, it goes after females, it goes after indigenous groups…It goes after people that are less educated so they’re always looking to prey on the easy ones,” Wigand explains.

Dying For A Smoke also looks at how tobacco companies get into the psyche of young people through subtle but highly influential ways of making tobacco accessible and desirable.

Make sure not to miss this when Inside New Zealand: Dying For A Smoke screens on Wednesday, July 6 th at 8:30pm on 3.

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  • Dean
    I thought the program was extremely biased. New Zealand are strong advocates of personal freedoms and oppose the so called “nanny state”. Smoking is a personal choice, just like alcohol, just like gambling, just like fast food; all of which are addictive.

    Instead of attacking the tobacco industry perhaps people should take personal responsibility for their actions.

    I find it interesting that in the middle of the program there was a ad for next weeks Inside NZ which is about cannabis legislation. From the brief ad it appears the show is praising cannabis reform. Isn’t that an addictive drug which can cause lung cancer? were do we draw the line?

    I particularly disliked Hone Hawira’s cameo. His antagonizing and biased questioning just reaffirmed my disdain for the man.  No doubt his racist views continue to influence his opinion.

    People seek pleasure, its human nature. If people did not seek a relief from life’s stress we would have no problems with alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Instead of completely banning the product lets continue focusing on changing peoples behaviour. If there’s one thing Americans prohibition laws taught us its that they don’t work.


  • AF

    Well said Dean!

  • Greg

    At last mainstream media uncovered the continued lies and unethical behaviour of big tobacco.  This is an industry that prematurely kills over half the people who use its product as directed and appears not to care as long as their massive profits continue.  This documentary gave hope that Aotearoa New Zealand is in a place to lead the world in dealing with this unprincipled industry.  The industry representative spoke of choice; how can there be choice when the addiction takes away an individual’s ability to freely choose?

    We were also showed the support and compassion people need to help them quit smoking. Well done to the producers!

  • Dexter

    Dean, in this situation when including the effect of the nanny state on personal freedom/choice we must recognise influence from the industries who sell these goods and services. What are of concern are the methods of marketing and who it is aimed at.
    Your comment about the negative affects of cannabis is correct; however the purpose for reviewing legislation on cannabis is related to the effect criminalising the addicted which creates a barrier to accessing treatment.
    As I understand the situation the current nanny state has no intention of a complete ban or prohibition on tobacco.