The cost of cigarettes has increased by 40% since 2010. The cost will increase by $1 a year for the next four years to $20 a packet of 20 cigarettes. Will this make smokers quit smoking? Probably not, says a Treasury report, because smoking is addictive. The report also said that smokers help the economy. The sales tax on cigarettes from New Zealand-grown tobacco brought in $145m to the government in the 9 months to the end of March. The import duty on imported cigarettes brought in $746m for the same period.
However, smokers get sick and hospital care costs the government. A study done by the University of Otago in 2007 said that the actual cost to the Ministry of Health from illnesses caused by smoking was $300m to $350m a year. Also, the Treasury report said that smokers die early so there is a saving from National Superannuation and old-age health care.
However, Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party, wanted to increase the cost of a packet of cigarettes to $100 by 2025. She wants Maori to give up smoking and New Zealand to be a smoke-free country.
Treasury – advises the government on budgets and other financial matters
Note the preposition: increased by 40%; increased to $20
If a packet of cigarettes cost $16 and was increased by $20, how much would it then cost?
Is alcohol addictive? Would drinkers reduce the amount of alcohol they buy if the cost increased?
Do you think the increased cost of cigarettes will encourage smokers to quit?
Could New Zealand become a smoke-free country in the future?