Minister of Health Tony Ryall says the Government is not currently considering the proposal to increase the cost of a packet of cigarettes to $100.
Ministry of Health officials presented the Bay of Plenty MP with a working paper suggesting a single packet of cigarettes be raised to $100 over the next eight years, in a bid to make the nation smoke-free by 2025.
Health Minister Tony Ryall has been presented with a working paper proposing to increase the cost of cigarettes to $100 a pack.
But the Minister says the Government will not be considering it any time soon.
“It’s one of these things where they just have a look at what options there might be.
“I don’t think that anyone seriously thinks that the Government is going to put the price up to $100.
“It’s really just something the officials were working on and it’s nothing the Government has made any decisions on.”
The document suggests increasing the price to $60 in 2013 and then by an added 10 per cent every year after, making it $100 by 2020.
Tony says he would like to see the cost of cigarettes increased.
“I think the most effective way to stop smoking is to out the price up.
“The price has gone up about 40 per cent over the last three years and we’ve had the biggest drops in smoking that we have ever had.
“This is really one of the most effective preventative health measures there can possibly be.”
Tony says the working paper’s suggests how difficult it is going to be to get the country smoke-free by 2025, but finding a way to achieve this is worth the hard work.
“The more people who smoke, the more people who get lung disease and other diseases and the more costly they are to the health service.
“If we cans stop people smoking it means they’ve got a much better life and the health system won’t have to deal with them.”