New Zealand’s wants to become completely smoke free by 2025, and the Health Ministry is considering raising the price of a pack of cigarettes to $100 by 2020 to help in their smoke-free efforts. The $100 a pack charge would be the equivalent of 81 American dollars. Currently, the plan being discussed is to raise the price of a pack of cigarettes to $60, or $49 U.S., to start with, then raise the price by 10% every year after that.
Other options being discussed by the Health Ministry, are to just start raising the current price of a pack by 10% every year, starting in 2013 and ending in 2025 causing a pack of cigarettes to cost $40 or $32.50 U.S. Also they would think about regulating tobacco as a highly toxic substance, which would cause a ban from smoking in vehicles with children and making on available for duty-free sales.
“If we are to continue to lower smoking prevalence we need to both increase the numbers who successfully quit smoking, and reduce smoking initiation among young people,” the ministry wrote in the proposal.
It has been reported that of New Zealand’s 4.2 million people, 650,000 are smokers. In comparison, the U.S. population is currently around 313,424,000 of which over 50 million are predicted to be smokers.