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New Zealand year on year tobacco excise increase Standard packet of cigarettes will cost HKD 90.4 from January 1st 2012

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

Submitted by Nimisha Sachdev on Sun, Dec 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 (HKD 90.4).

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.”

Tobacco sales drop 10pc after tax rise By Martin Johnston

5:30 AM Saturday May 7, 2011

Tobacco sales have slumped by 10 per cent following a tax increase that led many smokers either to quit or cut down.

“The number of cigarettes released for sale per adult is now at its lowest in 90 years,” said the chairman of the End Smoking Trust, Dr Murray Laugesen, a public health specialist.

“This result is in line with the 15 per cent decrease in supermarket sales we reported after the 12 per cent May increase in tobacco excise 12 months ago,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said yesterday that the minister, who was to return from overseas last night, would be delighted by the decrease, although she had not yet seen the figures.

Around 20 per cent of adults smoke. Based on Government tobacco tax data, Dr Laugesen calculated that the equivalent of 969 cigarettes per adult were sold in 2010, down from 1080 the previous year.

The figures include all adults, not just smokers, and loose tobacco as well as factory-made cigarettes.

He said it was impossible to know from the data what the contributions of quitting and cutting down were to the overall sales reduction.

However, figures released earlier by the government’s Quit Group suggest the number of smokers giving up the habit has increased as a result of last May’s tax hike – which was followed by another in January, ahead of the third and last of the trio of tax rises next January.

The number of people who called the Quitline last May was nearly double the number recorded in May 2009. A check later last year found that after six months, 17.2 per cent of smokers who had called the Quitline in May were still not smoking. The organisation said this was “comparable to Quitline’s standard quit success measure of 20.9 per cent”.

“The key outcome is that there were 59 per cent more people successfully quit at six months than there would have been without the tax increase …”

By Martin Johnston | Email Martin

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