Price of cigarettes set to skyrocket
Sun, 22 Apr 2012 6:07p.m.
By Brook Sabin
Huge increases in the price of tobacco are on the cards, with official documents saying a packet of cigarettes needs to be “$100” if New Zealand is to become smoke-free.
The startling figure is contained in a confidential report obtained by 3 News, exploring the Government's newly adopted goal of being a smoke-free nation by 2025.
The Government wants to stub out smoking in New Zealand in just 13-years’ time.
The document, released to 3 News under the Official Information Act, gives the first insight into the drastic measures that will be required, and huge tax increases appear inevitable.
“Tax is about the most effective measure of reducing smoking and encouraging smokers to quit that we've got,” says professor Richard Edwards of the Department of Public Health at University of Otago.
Modelling in the document shows if the price of cigarettes was increased to $40 a pack by 2025, combined with other ambitious policies, New Zealand would fail in becoming smoke-free.
A second model shows packs at $100 each by 2020, with further tax increases after that.
That model shows we would reach the 2025 target.
But officials admit increases like that are quote "probably unrealistic".
Smoke-free advocate and Mana Party MP Hone Harawira says toughen up.
“Now is not the time to be saying ‘oh, this could be unrealistic’. Now is the time to be saying we're going to lead the world.”
The most likely model would see a shock tax increase next year, which would eventually see a packet of cigarettes cost around $60 by 2025.
Other ideas discussed in the document include regulating tobacco as a highly toxic substance, a ban on smoking in cars with children, a doubling of anti-smoking media campaigns and removing tobacco from duty-free.
The Ministry of Health is at pains to point out the paper is an internal policy discussion and does not represent Government policy.
Further work is being done before recommendations will be made to the Government.
“It's fabulous that the Government has adopted this as a goal,” says Mr Edwards. “It is the first Government in the world, and this is leading edge stuff.”
But it is clear difficult decisions, including huge tax increases, lie ahead, or else the goal could well go up in smoke.
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22/07/2012 8:09:41 p.m.
nikki g wrote:
if prices of cigarettes go up then more children with starve or have to live even more on bread and water, you want to make a difference ban pokie machine, t.a.b and all forms of gambling, it is hard enough to live as it is, now you want to make it harder?????????those who smoke arent going to stop because you say so. i dont get it, what more do you want,more homeless people? more people living without power? food?
i smoke but i dont drink and i dont gamble and i dont do drugs, why punish me?
22/07/2012 6:02:38 p.m.
Rob Allen wrote:
I am a smoker of some 47 years. I realise that the cost of smoking related illness in NZ is high. I would like to know just how the Govt. plans on making up the "shortfall" in the Health Budget (assuming that is where our cigarette tax is spent) when there is much less than there is now due to the "Quit Smoking" Campaign being waged.
20/06/2012 11:40:33 a.m.
Dat rough looking redneck wrote:
28/04/2012 1:50:15 a.m.
I bet 30% of the Government are smokers, New Zealand will loose a lot of tourists and a lot of tax as a result of this. I think the Government gains a lot of their tax from the sales of cigarets and tobacco.
26/04/2012 3:11:48 p.m.
Anti-Smoking lobbyists do not see the full picture when pressuring for a ban or restrictions on Ciggarettes. Back in the 1980s I worked for a major tobacco company in New Zealand. That company conducted a survey on how much the government earns in tax from Cigarette sales. That survey clearly showed that the NZ government made enough per year to fully fund the DPB and the NZ Police force per annum. Now in 2012. I have no idea what the government earns in tobacco taxes, but going with the cost of living and related increases since the 80s. I would say it would be comparable to the 80s. No one seems to realise how much other taxes will have to rise to compensate the loss from tobacco sales.
25/04/2012 12:37:15 p.m.
Miss Swan wrote:
The government are so full of it. If they really wanted to stop people from smoking, they could just ban it. However, they would never do that because it makes them hundreds of millions of dollars a year. They know that no matter how high the prices of cigarettes get there will always be people who will buy them regardless, because they are addicted. Alcoholism is a far worse issue than smoking in this country. I used to be a heavy smoker and a heavy drinker, and alcohol affected my life far worse than smoking ever did. The effects of smoking are not immediate, but you could drink a bottle of vodka once in your life and die of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol has a negative impact on your whole body over time and causes far more health-related issues than smoking ever could. The government are not addressing this issue because alcohol is socially acceptable in New Zealand, "Everyone does it". If they tried to put alcohol prices up this ridiculously high, there would be public outcry. Smoking has been stigmatised and it really is just an excuse for the government to continue making revenue. The prices of cigarettes in our country are already some of the highest in the world, how far will they go? How long will they be able to justify these actions? Smokers should just start growing their own tobacco and entirely cut out the government. I'm not pro-smoking, but I can't stand the government acting like this is for the good of smokers, it's not. It's about money. You to deter people from smoking? Ban it. Simply as that. As I said, they're full of it. Banning it would cut out a substantial amount of smokers and would mean people can't smoke in public. They won't though, prohibition never works.
24/04/2012 9:54:09 p.m.
pissed off smoker wrote:
I agree with the post before mine that i have just read. what a stupid idea,what about freedom of choice it sounds like a facist policy to me that takes away personal freedom. what about alcohol? oh thats right rich rich people and politcians drink! there is no drug in history that has caused as meny problems. emergency rooms in hospitals full on friday saturday nights,people disturbing the peace, a man going home drunk and beating his partner. not to mention that crime will go though the roof the majority of smokers are poor and will be despirate for there fix. think about this if rich people smoked they wouldnt ban it, but because its working class people they dont give a dahn.
24/04/2012 7:56:37 a.m.
I hear all this, I am a non smoker, I have the right etc, well I'm a smoker and I have the right to enjoy a smoke in the sun if I want to. I don't smoke in packed public places, but in my own home I will. What a pathetic plan to stop smoking. I am going to laugh at all of you people supporting this stupid idea when, oh suprise, tax goes up, food goes up, petrol goes up, regos etc everything goes up to cover the money the government will not be getting from cigarettes. Think of all the rich tourists that smoke that will laugh at the idea of coming to nz if they can't smoke. Tourists down, less money coming into the country, oh wait, up the tax. New Zealand will just become a wasteland, all your tax paying money will be going into housing people for something so menial as tobacco crimes. Alcohol, there is one that they should be banning, gambling, ban that as well. The causers of debt and domestic violence etc, clogging up our hospitals for binge drinkers. Instead of banning it, up the age or better yet let us make up our own minds.
24/04/2012 2:38:22 a.m.
sandy d wrote:
Why not a big increase on alcohol? Is it because all the fat cats drink? As far as secondhand smoke and what smoke is doing to the environment, better look at the fire pits everyone sits around and the fireplaces and all the people who burn wood in the winter. Politics!!!!!
23/04/2012 10:37:16 p.m.
This is scary how much more of a police state are we going to live in before the people will rise up against the government or see people growing tobacco like cannabis its sad that the government is so out of touch with the people and the real world
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