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Tobacco price hike to kick in

New Zealand – a packet of cigarettes now costs HK$ 83 in NZ versus HK$50 in Hong Kong and HK$ 72 in Singapore

Tobacco price hike to kick in (Source: ONE News)

Cigarettes on display in a shop – Source: ONE News

Vowing to give up cigarettes may be a New Year’s resolution for more smokers than usual this year as the tax on tobacco increases from the first day of 2012.

The last of the three-tiered tax increase will push the cost of the most popular brand of cigarettes to $13.80 for a 20 pack (HK$ 83) and to $31 for a 30g pack of loose tobacco.

Quitline Chief Executive Paula Snowden said January is a notoriously busy time of year and the tax increase will only increase the number of smokers looking for support.

“80% of smokers wished they’d never started smoking and we expect the January tax jump will be a trigger for many to quit,” said Snowden.

“Those who use Quitline support are up to five times more likely to succeed than going it alone.”

Snowden said the tax hike will mean smokers can look forward to saving $4500 in 2012 if they give up in time for the New Year.

“For a family with one adult smoking one packet a day, that equates to a tank of petrol a week.

“Over a month it’s an average week’s rent or a car payment -serious money out of the family budget,” said Snowden.

In January 2011, 9,383 people quit smoking with the help of Quitline – almost double the number who used the service in January 2010.

Anyone wanting support can call Quitline for free on 0800 778 778 or visit for online support.

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