Tobacco tax leads to black market

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Increased support is needed for smokers to quit in order to achieve the aim of a smoke-free NZ in 2025.  Māori health provider, Hapai Te Hauora, warns that rising tobacco taxes will lead to a burgeoning black market, with low-income communities impacted the most. 

Hāpai Te Hauora says that addiction may drive people to look to the black market.

However, Quitline received a 30% increase in calls this month suggesting that taxes can motivate whānau to quit.

Last year police raised concerns over the cigarette black market fuelling armed robberies and burglaries in Christchurch.

Hāpai te Hauora is hopeful that more support will be put in place to help those seeking to quit.