The Government would ban tobacco if it was serious about public health but it won't because it reaps $1.6 billion a year in tax, Winston Peters says.
"In New Zealand the price of a packet of cigarettes is made up of 80 percent taxes - that's just a greedy Government hammering a legal product," the NZ First leader said.
"They are deluding people - it's not about public health it's all about the taxation dollars the Government wants to flood into the public kitty."
Mr Peters says the Government collects $1.6b a year through tobacco tax and it will rise to $1.8b in 2020.
The Government confirmed in last week's Budget that tobacco tax would continue to increase at 10 percent a year for the next four years.
And yesterday it released draft regulations for plain packaging.
Mr Peters says it's "just another attack on working people".