There is nothing worse than walking into a bar where patrons are supping beer with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths.

Fortunately you'd be hard pressed to find one in this country but overseas it's commonplace in some countries and it's revolting.

If you can bring yourself to have a beer in such places, you leave half an hour later stinking to high heaven.

Smokers seem unaware of the smell they constantly walk around with.


It was like that in the hallowed halls of Parliament in the 80s.

The RSA generation occupied the place and the eight table billiard room, which is now the magnificent Grand Hall, was off limits to the public.

It was like an opium den, acrid with smoke as the suits bent over the felt tables, dropping ash as they lined up a shot.

Today thankfully all that's changed, ciggies are not only off limits within Parliament buildings, they're banned from the surrounding area, Helen Clark finally saw to that as she moved to drive them further and further from her sensitive nostrals.

Ironically the woman she had the biggest falling out with as Prime Minister was Tariana TurIa, who broke away and formed the Maori Party, but pickled up the anti smoking cause setting the impossible target of making God's Own smoke free by 2025.

Certainly there are fewer smokers today than there were when she started her campaign, but among Maori and Pacific Islanders the rate's still very high.

A third of Maori smoke on a daily basis while 22 percent of Pacific people still suck on the cancer sticks.

Overall 14 percent of Kiwis are still addicted to the habit.


So yesterday we celebrated World Smokefree Day, well those of us who don't smoke did. It led to a message from the associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa, congratulating those who are trying to stop smoking and those who have.

The latest craze to replace the noxious weed is vaping.

You will have seen the metal object being sucked on and a great cloud of vape being pumped into the air.

It's said to be 90 percent less harmful than the tailor mades or the rollies.

In promoting the alternative Salesa seems to have been out of step with her own Ministry, urging smokers to switch to vaping, or electronic cigarettes, if they're struggling to quit. Her own Ministry on its website says it's illegal to sell a vaping product by claiming it helps smokers to quit, which is exactly what she did.

To add to the confusion her office said the Ministry didn't challenge a court ruling involving tobacco giant Philip Morris declaring the sale of vaping products legal, so therefore it's now legal they're now saying.


So it seems the Ministry and not Parliament's now making the law.

If the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, is there any wonder why that 2025 target is elusive?