Christchurch Robberies Just More Evidence of Tobacco Tax Failure
The three dairy robberies in Christchurch in just 24 hours is yet more evidence of the social harm caused by excessive tobacco tax hikes and discouragement of smokers switching to safer (tax-free) alternatives like vaping, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
The Union’s Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “The common theme in all of these robberies is cash and cigarettes. Tobacco is literally being treated like currency.”
“Accelerating tobacco taxes have created a black market, while being increasingly ineffective at reducing smoking rates. The Government should abandon tobacco tax hikes and unleash the alternatives, like vaping, heated tobacco, and snus.”
“Every tobacco tax hike represents a threat to the safety and livelihood of retailers like those victimised in Christchurch this week.”
The Taxpayers’ Union report Up in Smoke: The social cost of tobacco excise found that tobacco taxes impoverish smokers, drive crime, and won’t achieve Smokefree 2025.