25 Jan 2024

Public Health Professor on proposal to insulate cigarettes from inflation

From Morning Report, 8:17 am on 25 January 2024

Cigarettes could be insulated from the full impacts of inflation, with documents showing New Zealand First Minister Casey Costello is seeking advice on the idea.

Currently tobacco excise is increased each year in line with the Consumer Price Index, or CPI.

RNZ has seen Ministry of Health documents that say the Associate Health Minister wants advice on a three-year freeze on CPI-related excise increases for smoked tobacco, and removing the excise tax from smokeless tobacco products, where the tobacco is heated to a vapour rather than burned.

Public Health Professor at the University of Otago Janet Hoek spoke to Corin Dann.