New year, more tax: Price of cigarettes goes up 1.4%

As New Zealand wakes to the New Year, smokers have been hit again by another increase in the price of tobacco.

However, the 1.4 per cent rise in excise tax is considerably smaller than in previous years,

Last January, a 10 per cent rise saw the price of a pack of cigarettes rise to around $33.

A study of 1000 New Zealanders by vape retailers Shosha found that one in four tobacco smokers have increased their consumption this year.

Shosha spokesperson Nabhik Gupta said although the increase was small, thousands of Kiwi smokers would still attempt to cut back in the New Year.

“We know that while increasing the price of cigarettes successfully helps encourage smokers to quit, there is a significant proportion of the population that remains at risk of significant health complications as a result of smoking.”

Māori Public Health service Hāpai Te Hauora noted that though the increase was much smaller than in previous years, other factors would see smokers motivated to quit and called for more help for them to achieve their goals.

CEO Selah Hart said: “2021 is another year closer to the Smokefree 2025 goal and to make it a realistic goal we want more whānau, hapu and iwi to be leading the change designed and led locally by their own communities.

“We are working together with other national organisations to ensure a number of public health and population health strategies are employed but there is a lot more to do and in order to do this, there has to be more power, resource and commitment for those communities and whānau to achieve and maintain smoke-free lifestyles.”

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