Many Western countries are taking what means they think appropriate to try and stamp out smoking. Lately it seems that smokers have faced one onslaught after another. In the UK smoking paraphernalia in stores now has to be kept under the counter, that is out of sight, and the products will soon be sold in plain packaging.
New Zealand is aiming at making the country smoke free by 2025. A tall order it would seem. One of its proposals in the war against smoking is increasing the price of a packet of cigarettes to %100 that is £50. If this price increase is approved it will be in place by 2020, just 8 years away. New Zealand's Official Information Act has led to the revelations of possible changes.
Media sources reported that, "One option being considered is a 10% increase on a pack of 20 cigarettes year-on-year from 2013 to 2025, meaning it would cost $40 (£20) a pack by 2024.But a second scenario would see packs at $100 each by 2020, achieved by an immediate shock rise of 30% to 60%, with on-going increases of 30% each year after that."
Other changes being considered include, regulating tobacco as a highly toxic substance, a ban on smoking in cars with children, a doubling of anti-smoking media campaigns and removing tobacco from duty-free sale.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health has since said that the document detailing the possible measures is an internal document and not part of the Government's policy. It is fair to say though, watch this space.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog