A comprehensive set of measures is needed to reduce smoking prevalence and meet the Government’s goal of making New Zealand a smokefree nation by 2025. One of the most effective tools to reduce tobacco consumption and prevalence is to increase the price of tobacco. This is often achieved through targeted increases of the excise tax on tobacco products.
Respondents in the 2012 Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS) answered a few questions on their opinion on tobacco taxation.
To regularly monitor public opinion about tobacco control and aid the development of appropriate health promotion strategies, respondents in the 2012 Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS) answered a few questions on their opinion on tobacco taxation. Responses to these questions were compared by smoking status (current smokers: those who smoked at least monthly, ex-smokers, and never smokers), ethnicity, neighbourhood deprivation status, age, gender, and educational background. Statistically significant differences by group (p < .05) are reported.
- The majority of New Zealand adults agreed with potential tobacco taxation measures.
- Around two-thirds of New Zealand adults agreed that tax on cigarettes and tobacco should be increased every year and around three-quarters agreed that the tobacco tax should be used to help those who want to quit smoking.
- Different patterns in response were seen by smoking status for annual tax increases, with current and ex-smokers showing lower levels of agreement. However, current smokers were equally likely to agree that the extra money gained through taxation should be used to help smokers who want to quit.