31 Aug 2010

Days of cheap smoking are gone

9:09 am on 31 August 2010

Tobacco researcher Murray Laugesen says a 15% slump in supermarket sales of cigarettes shows the effectiveness of price increases on cigarette demand.

Dr Laugesen from the Otago University school of public health in Wellington, says the drop is far greater than expected.

He told Waatea News that the comprehensive nature of the increase - a 10% increase on the excise on cigarettes and a 25% increase on loose tobacco - means the days of cheap smoking are gone.

"In previous times, people have tended to slide off the isue by taking up cheaper brands or roll your owns," he said. "This time, they haven't been able to."

Dr Laugesen said one in two adult Maori are smokers and the price rise may have helped extend hundreds of Maori lives.