Research and anecdotal evidence reliably shows the effectiveness of excise tax increases on changing smokers’ behaviour.

Price increases encourage current smokers to cut down and discourage potential new smokers from starting.  Every time there is a tax increase, stop-smoking groups report an increase in interest from people wishing to quit.  The three-step excise tax increase will see the price of a packet of cigarettes rise by 28% by January 2012.

Currently over 4,500 New Zealanders a year die prematurely from illness caused by smoking.

As a result, in 10 years the Government expects there will be 300 fewer premature deaths a year as result of the tobacco excise increase, rising to 500 fewer deaths a year by 2031.

The health-related costs of smoking to individuals and to the health budget are enormous.  This is one way of getting them down and making more Kiwis healthier.