Budget 2012: Cancer Society delighted with ciggy tax increase

The Cancer Society is "delighted" with the announcement in today's budget that excise on tobacco products will rise by 10 percent each year over the next four years.

“We are rapidly moving towards a Smokefree Aotearoa with today’s announcement of a substantial increase on the taxation of tobacco products," tobacco control advisor for the Cancer Society Skye Kimur said.

"We know the rate of smoking is higher amongst more vulnerable populations and they are the ones most sensitive towards price increases.

"Typically tobacco companies target young people, as their regular customers die off at a rate of 5,000 a year.

"This vulnerable group is less likely to have disposable income so higher prices will make them less likely to start, and more likely to quit, smoking."

The Cancer Society is keen to see any measures that will help prevent young people from taking up smoking. It's generally thought that a 10 percent increase in price results in a 5 percent reduction in consumption.

“We hope that a percentage of the tax revenue will be put towards more support for people to quit smoking."

Next Thursday is World Smokefree Day.