Ana Apatu reports on the launch of the Regional Tobacco Strategy for Hawke's Bay 2015-2020.
January 2012 was the last of the recent tobacco tax increases. The Government is due to announce it's budget on 24 May, so now is the time to send Government your view. Increasing tax is the most effective and achievable measure to reduce tobacco consumption. The recent increases saw more quitting and reduced cigarette consumption.
Tobacco companies responded to the last increases by increasing the number of products available at budget prices. Substantial increases are required to prevent these tactics from undermining the intent of the tax increase. ASH is recommending no less than a 50 percent increase.
3 ways to have your say:
1. visit www.taxtobacco.org.nz to email relevant cabinet members. The email tool lets you write your own message or choose from a selection of pre-written paragraphs calling for a 50 percent increase.
2. ASH have some tax postcards to send to John Key, Bill English, Tony Ryall and Tariana Turia. If you would like a batch please email ash via their website www.ash.org.nz with your postal address and let ASH Director Ben Youdan know how many you need. There is a limited supply. Please ensure people include their name and contact on the cards as anonymous ones are not much use! They do not require stamps and can go straight in the post box.
3. Visit your local MP to secure their support for increasing taxes on tobacco.