Turia wants to abolish duty-free tobacco allowance

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says she believes the duty-free status should come off the purchase of cigarettes at airports and hopes to have a new policy in place by Christmas.

At the moment, visitors and people returning to New Zealand can buy 200 cigarettes or 200 grams of loose tobacco duty-free.

Mrs Turia says Ministry of Health officials are currently investigating changing the policy, as has been done in other countries.

She says smoking continues to take a heavy toll on the health of many people and she makes no apology for considering more methods of reducing tobacco consumption.

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