NZ Government Wants Tobacco Tax, Not Vapes

August 13, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

Taxes on vapes in NZWELLINGTON – Despite being healthier than smoking, tobacco products are being labelled as being just as dangerous in New Zealand, all for the sake of tax revenues.

On August 10th the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union (TPU), a tax advocacy group, issued a press release claiming that the government of New Zealand is choosing to pursue tax revenues instead of helping smokers kick the habit.

The TPU claims that regulations will require tobacco-alternatives to be packaged in a manner which would deer smokers from using the healthier alternatives.

Tobacco alternatives sold in New Zealand will soon be required to be labelled with the same anti-smoking labels as regular cigarettes, and the requirement extends to non-combustion products such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco and snus.

Commenting on the situation, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams said “Considering these products don’t expose users to the harmful compounds in cigarette smoke, applying cigarette packaging to the new products runs completely counter to public health goals and the Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal.”

He claimed that if all current smokers were to switch to the lower-taxed alternative products, the government would stand to lose approximately NZD 2 billion in tax revenues.

Summarizing the government’s stance, Jordan Williams said that the New Zealand government “…appears to prefer money over the lives these products would save if regulated appropriately.”