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Tobacco Tax Hike Revenue Should Go to Help Smokers Quit


Andrew Williams MP

Spokesperson for Revenue
25 May 2012

Tobacco Tax Hike Revenue Should Go to Help Smokers Quit

New Zealand First is asking the Government to guarantee that revenue from its tax hike on tobacco is used exclusively to tackle the harmful effects of smoking.

Revenue spokesperson Andrew Williams says if the Government is serious about people giving up cigarettes then they need to put their money where their mouth is.

“They should use the extra tax to boost anti-smoking public awareness campaigns, provide targeted health professional intervention, and integrate smoking cessation programmes.

“Primary Health Organisations should be better funded, smoking cessation workers require quality training, and innovations such as Quit Cafes should be established.”

Mr Williams says failure to do this raises the question of whether National hiked the tax out of real concern for the health of New Zealanders.

“Or are National just playing buddies and paying off the Māori Party in order to keep their vote and support?

“If that is the case then National has created a smokescreen to what is simply a money grab from smokers.”

ENDS

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