NZ has world's fastest rising alcohol, cigarette, drug prices

Cigarettes and alcohol.
Cigarettes and alcohol. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand has been named as the country with the world's most significant price increase on "vices" in an annual Bloomberg report.

The Bloomberg Global Vice Index looks at the price of buying cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, opioids, cocaine and amphetamines across more than 100 countries.

It doesn't track gambling, prostitution or other illicit activities, and aims not to pass judgement but to purely provide an economic indication.

New Zealand was one of only three countries to cross the US$1000 mark in terms of price, alongside Australia and Japan.

Overall a basket full of the vice items went up US$261 (NZ$358) from 2016, and would come to US$1241 (NZ$1702).

It would cost 1.5 times the average weekly income.

The US was close behind, with an increase of US$217 (NZ$297) on 2016 to US$617 (NZ$846), or 0.53 percent of the average weekly income.

A price increase does not equal unaffordability though, as the US is still the 38th most affordable place to buy vices, and New Zealand is 66th.

Luxembourg tops the list for the most affordable vices - a basket there would cost US$206, or 0.1 percent of their average weekly income.

The items that make up the Bloomberg Global Vice Index basket:

  • A pack of cigarettes, popular and premium
  • A bottle of alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and spirits
  • A gram of amphetamine-type stimulants, including methamphetamine and/or ecstasy
  • A gram of cannabis, including marijuana hashish resin and/or cannabis oil
  • A gram of cocaine, regardless of salts, paste or base forms
  • A gram of opioids, including heroin and/or opium.

Newshub.