NZ's tobacco market slowly depleting

  • 27/09/2015
Cigerettes (File)
Cigerettes (File)

New Zealand's tobacco manufacturers say there is a drop in the amount of tobacco and cigarettes used in the country.

Annual return supplies sent to the Ministry of Health show a 3.8 percent drop in the quantity of tobacco and cigarettes released per adult in 2014 compared with 2013.

The number of standard cigarettes smoked per adult in New Zealand has dropped to its lowest, at 733.7.

Endsmoking NZ's Associate Professor Marewa Glover says the drop indicates smokers are dealing with expense as well as health.

"We can expect tobacco consumption to decline as smoking becomes increasingly expensive."

Pall Mall, one of the cheaper tobacco brands, has doubled in popularity since 2007, with Imperial's lower-end John Player the third most popular brand.

The annual 10 percent tax increase, which began in 2010, finishes next year and Ms Glover says it has been a very successful public health measure.

However, Smokefree Coalition Board Member and Endsmoking NZ's Dr George Laking say the volume of cigarettes sold each year is still unacceptable.

"Reading through the list of the millions of cigarette sticks sold annually in our country reminds me of its counterpart, the roll-call of dead and dying from smoking-related illnesses," he says.

"Cigarettes kill up to 5000 New Zealanders a year and are akin to bullets and bombs in a war on peoples' health. These sales figures should be posted on the wall of every clinical department in the country as a reminder of the battle we face to be a smoke-free nation by 2025."

Sales per single cigarette dropped from 1886 million to 1858.5 million, causing a $1543 million revenue loss for tobacco companies, or $0.83 per cigarette.

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