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NZ Tobacco Tax To Rise Again
Rising tobacco tax likely to curb smoking habit (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 322)
Jan 4, 2018 Style & Living
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New Zealand has a world-leading goal, Smokefree Aotearoa 2025, that when achieved will reduce smoking to minimal levels and dramatically lessen the preventable ill-health and suffering cased by tobacco products.

Unfortunately, research on current trends in smoking prevalence shows that the goal is going to be difficult to reach. For Maori, the smokefree Aotearoa goal is projected to be reached in 2060, rather than 2025. Smoking continues to generate huge health and economic costs in Aotearoa NZ, while massive differences in smoking result in much worse health for Maori and Pacific peoples. Further action will be needed to achieve the goal and to avert even more deaths.

Quitline - an agency dedicated to helping people quit smoking, is preparing for an increase in calls next week, with people making new year's resolutions to stop smoking and the price of tobacco rising by ten percent. The price hike will be the second of four 10-percent rises coming into force on 1 January every year until 2020.

Quitline chief executive Andrew Slater said that means a pack of 20 cigarettes would in 2018 cost about $27 to $30 dollars. Roughly 15-percent of adult New Zealanders are estimated to smoke daily, but Mr Slater said it was likely more people would stop smoking because of the price rise.

"Increasing tobacco excise tax is internationally recognised as an extremely effective measure to reduce tobacco related harm and encourage people to become smokefree," he said.

Quitline expected calls to its help line would double over the New Year period.

"So normally we'd get around 150 calls a day, however that does increase to around 250-400 calls per day on that first week of the year," he said.

Mr Slater said staff numbers would be increased to deal with the numbers. "It's Quitline's busiest week of the year and we'll have extra team members onboard to help New Zealanders become smoke free in 2018."

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