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Taxpayers’ Union welcomes push for Smokefree surge strategy

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the release of A Surge Strategy for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025, a new paper released by ASH which highlights the regressive effects of tobacco tax and outlines a new strategy of cutting smoking rates through common sense regulation of products like vapes.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “The report, prepared by both local and international health experts, is a comprehensive and forward-looking response to the new options that smokers now have. We commend it, especially its focus on the ‘painful economic penalty experienced by the poorest’ due to excise tax, and its recommendation that excise tax should not be applied to the new smoke-free products.”

“Not so long ago, the Taxpayers’ Union and ASH were at loggerheads over the issue of tobacco tax. The fact that we now both agree on an alternative approach shows just how far the debate surrounding nicotine has developed.”

“The risk is that Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa isn’t keeping up. She has signalled a plan to ban flavoured e-liquids, while the ASH report warns that flavours are ‘an essential part of the proposition to smokers to try switching and remain smokefree.’ A ban on flavours would only benefit the Government’s coffers, as people would be less tempted to quit smoking and paying excise tax.”

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