Cigarette prices rise dramatically in Australia

Tobacco prices have increased in Australia.
Tobacco prices have increased in Australia. Photo credit: Getty

On Friday the Australian government increased tobacco excise on cigarettes by 13 percent and other tobacco products by 17 percent in its annual September 1 price increases.

That means a Winfield Blues 30-pack will increase from AU$32.50 to AU$35.20, and opposition Senator David Leyonhjelm has criticised the tax.

"That's a $2.70 price hike that will make poor, addicted smokers worse off," the Liberal Democratic Senator said.

Australia's government received A$10.69 billion from tobacco excise in the year ending September 1, 2017, the tax rise is a "huge, cruel" one for smokers claimed Mr Leyonhjelm.

As the price of tobacco products increases in Australia, does it match the price of cigarettes here in New Zealand?

Price comparison: New Zealand vs Australia (All in NZ dollars)

Benson & Hedges 20: New Zealand $25.70  Australia $33.10

Dunhill 20: New Zealand $25.70  Australia $34.20

Marlboro 20: New Zealand $25.30  Australia $34.20

Winfield 20: New Zealand $25.10  Australia $31.60

With the rises of tobacco prices in Australia, cigarettes now cost considerably more across the Tasman than they do in New Zealand.

The twice-yearly price rises in Australia means there has never been a better time to quit the addiction according to experts.

Cancer Council South Australia chief executive Lincoln Size said, "With cigarette prices set to hit a minimum of $40 per pack by 2020, there hasn't been a better time to quit smoking."

In 2011 the New Zealand Government announced a plan to make New Zealand the second country in world to be smokefree by 2025.

An annual 10 percent price increase much like Australia's tax rises was designed to make it more difficult for people to afford smoking.