13 Jan 2015

New Year's boost for Quitline

2:36 pm on 13 January 2015

Quitline says the way a tax increase on tobacco has been applied is causing a big rise in the number of people signing up to quit smoking.

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Photo: 123RF

As of yesterday, more than 2600 people so far this month had registered their intention of quitting or cutting down on smoking cigarettes, a 9.4 percent increase on the first weeks of last year.

The chief executive of Quitline, Paula Snowden, said, unlike last year, tobacco companies had raised the prices of cheaper brands.

"People have got used to the 10 percent so they were adjusting their smoking behaviours we suspect," she said.

"But, this year, the 10 percent and how it has been applied has had a much bigger impact on the low-income brands."

According to statistics provided by Quitline, a pack of 20 Holiday Blue cigarettes has risen from $16.20 to $18.

Tax on tobacco went up by 10 percent on 1 January.