Smokers will pay 10 per cent more for a pack of cigarettes this year, as part of the Government's annual tax increases on tobacco products.
The cost of a pack is expected to rise to $30 in the next four years as part of the Government's plan to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025.
According to the 2013 census, 17.1 per cent of residents aged 15-69 in the BOPDHB area are regular smokers, although the number has been steadily decreasing over the years.
SunMedia journalist David Tauranga recently quit smoking, and says price played a big part in the decision.
“If I was a millionaire I'd still be smoking. The biggest factor in the decision to quit for me was you can't afford to raise a family and smoke.
“When I first started smoking it was around $11 for a packet of Marlborough Reds. Now 20 years later they're around $25.”
For him, the hardest part about quitting has been the day-to-day adjustments, such as not having a couple of cigarettes on the morning drive to work.
“The hardest part has been adjusting my personality to being a non-smoker. I started at 13 or 14, so for two decades I've considered myself a smoker.”
He's gone the Champix route, which he highly recommends, as it stops the nicotine cravings.
“But if you can do it without [Champix], even better.”
For Tauranga resident Chris Parnell, it was health, rather than price, which informed his decision to quit.
“Health is the main thing. Unfortunately, the price increase probably wouldn't make a difference if I was still a smoker.”
His path to quitting began roughly a month ago, substituting cigarettes for a vaporiser, which he says is working great.
“I found the vaporiser excellent. I don't even use it that much anymore – the habit is pretty much gone. Lately, I've gone almost three or four days without using it. If I find myself hungry when I shouldn't be – which is when I normally would have a cigarette – I use the vaporiser.”
As with all smokers, social situations such as having a few drinks can be the hardest part, when everyone else is smoking and cigarettes are just an outstretched arm away.
“I still have them when they're right in front of me, but it doesn't translate into buying a pack,” he admits.
He says they taste “pretty gross” when he does have one now, however, which must be a good sign.
David's the same – he had one on New Year's, and it wasn't that great either.
Quitline New Zealand calls giving up cigarettes a journey, with most people taking a few attempts to quit.
“I think the key to success is finding what works for you,” says David.