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NEW ZEALAND

Tobacco tax not rising

15 May 2020. As part of the Governmentís Budget it was announced that New Zealandís tobacco tax will not be increased for the first time in four years, reports the NZ Herald.

The last tax increase on tobacco of 11.5 per cent came into effect on 1 January and saw the average price for a pack of 25 cigarettes soar to over NZD 41 (USD 24). Anti-smoking advocates have praised the government for not increasing taxes even more saying that vulnerable groups were the ones hardest hit by price increases and that it was not effective in helping people to quit smoking.

"Increasing the taxation would just be inappropriate," said Deborah Hart, director of Action for Smokefree 2025. According to the NZ Herald, she also said, "What we need to help people quit is targeting specific groups, community-led initiatives, smoke-free plan, we need the vaping legislation, we need a lot but it doesn't include more taxation."