New Zealand Takes Additional Steps to Reduce Smoking

May 24, 2012

Although many communities in the U.S. have taken steps to curb smoking, Kentucky tobacco growers continue to benefit from export sales. However, the government in New Zealand today is taking some very strong steps to discourage tobacco use.

New Zealand's government today raised the stakes in its fight against smoking by announcing a 40 percent increase in tobacco taxes, to be spread over the next four years. Prices in the country are already among the highest in the world, and its estimated that a pack of cigarettes will cost about 20 dollars by 2016. (Under current exchange rates, that's the equivalent of about 15 U.S. dollars per pack.)

Officials are hoping the higher taxes and restrictions on tobacco use will help to end smoking in the country by 2025. However, some people who like to light up are unhappy about the changes. According to the Associated Press one suggested that some low-income people might commit crimes to help support their nicotine habits.