16 Oct 2012

Legislation for tobacco price rises passed

7:07 pm on 16 October 2012

Parliament has passed legislation that will result in the price in a pack of cigarettes going up to about $20 within the next four years.

The new law will raise the tobacco excise tax through four 10% increases, to take effect on 1 January each year.

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says this is expected to lift the price of cigarettes from about $14.30 today to potentially $20 or more a pack in 2016.

Mrs Turia says she knows this will hit smokers in the pocket, but believes the increases will save lives.

The Government is also providing services such as Quitline and treatments such as nicotine patches to help people give up, she says.