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Tobacco tax increase shows commitment to smokefree 2025

24 May 2012

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ

Tobacco tax increase shows commitment to smokefree 2025

The government has announced a 40 per cent increase in the excise tax on tobacco.

ASH communications manager Michael Colhoun says that previous tobacco tax increases have been highly successful in reducing smoking rates by spurring quit attempts.

Mr Colhoun said this is a fantastic commitment by the government and one that is urgently needed to reach the goal of a smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

“Previous increases have seen thousands of New Zealanders make quit smoking attempts – this will trigger more smokers to give up the addiction,” said Mr Colhoun.

New Zealand’s tobacco market has seen an increase in budget tobacco brands in recent years as tobacco companies compete for market share.

“The upwards pressure on prices needs to remain as we’ve seen the tobacco industry has a great ability to absorb cost increases and create new ultra low cost brands.”

Last week in Australia the tobacco industry there defended decisions to reduce the price of tobacco.

“Tobacco industry scaremongering around black-market tobacco as an excuse to not increase tobacco tax is a tired old argument.

They can’t have it both ways and claim price increases aren’t effective, whilst also complaining that their businesses will be impacted,” said Mr Colhoun.

-ENDS-

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