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New Year to see 14.6% hike in cigarette price in New Zealand

Submitted by Nimisha Sachdev on Sun, 12/18/2011 – 03:42

In what clearly is a massive push in the direction of getting smokers in New Zealand to quit smoking, the cost of cigarettes will be increased from the New Year’s Day.

As a result of the increase to take effect from January 1, 2012, the cost of a standard pack of 20 cigarettes will witness a 14.6 percent rise; thus breaking through the NZ$15 price tag.

The tobacco-hike move in New Zealand comes in the wake of the observations by Dr Jeffrey Wigand – a scientist and tobacco industry whistleblower – who is of the opinion that even though the country has progressed in terms of fighting tobacco addiction, there was still a lot of more work required.

The forthcoming hike in the cost of the standard 20-pack of cigarettes will be third one since June 2010, and is largely an upshot of the yearly adjustments which are made to excise duty. It was last year that the government brought legislation to Parliament for increasing the excise duty on tobacco.

Noting that the last two tax increase witnessed an approximate 93 percent increase in the demand for Quitline services, Bruce Bassett –Quitline’s spokesman – told the NZ Herald that with household price thresholds apparently determining spending, price increases to a certain point “shocks people into realising how much of their discretionary income is being put into feeding their addiction.”

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