Smokers face price increase

As part of the government’s plan to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025, the price of tobacco products went up 10 per cent on January 1. Photo: Chris Callinan.

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.



7 Comments

Well Done

Posted on 06-01-2017 00:36 | By kinakat

Well done to everyone who have and are quitting smoking.You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Well Done!!!

Posted on 06-01-2017 00:04 | By kinakat

Well done to all those that have seriously decided to kick the smoking habit.It's seriously a huge waste of healthy lungs and wealth.

Gouging..

Posted on 05-01-2017 21:13 | By laugeo

is all it is. The government want a smokefree nz? Then just ban cigarettes? Oh no, not while they have located a minority that they have the public support to victimise. This 'tax it to death' approach is certainly immoral and I would question whether it is even legal. As for Reefer - your tune will change when this affects you and something that you do. All I need to do now is to get the words 'smokerist' and 'smokism' added to the ever growing list of 'ists' and isms' that everyone is condemned for and then there might just be a public backlash to this governments treatment of smokers.

Reefer

Posted on 05-01-2017 17:06 | By GreertonCynic

Hypocrite much? More airborne particulates are introduced into the atmosphere by diesel vehicles. How about we tax them out of existence?

But…

Posted on 05-01-2017 17:01 | By namxa

Don't you think maybe all the vehicles on the road, including yours, are possibly more polluting than smokers? Just a thought

Crank it up

Posted on 05-01-2017 15:43 | By Reefer

Still not enough. crank it up till they all give up and stop polluting our airspace. Filthy sods.

Thieves

Posted on 05-01-2017 11:13 | By namxa

Just that ^

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