New Zealand: If the use of e-cigarettes is not promoted, cigarette smuggling will worsen

According to the media release of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), a recent media investigation report stated that customs currently seizes approximately 125,000 smuggled cigarettes and 155 kg of bulk tobacco each month.

Nancy Loucas, the co-director of the organization, said that a market called a “profitable market” by customs is considered to be eight times more profitable than cocaine—and also attracts organized crime.

She added that, ironically, this was fueled by high tobacco taxes and the high prices that followed. “As the government’s attractiveness and supply of legal cigarettes become stricter, there is concern that this will only lead to more illegal cigarette smuggling . However, this is not necessarily the case, especially if smokers are encouraged to switch to safer nicotine products. Words,” she said.

Similarly, when announcing a new proposal to reduce tobacco excise taxes, New Zealand’s First Party leader Winston Peters said last year that although the goal is to stop punishing smokers with high taxes as a strategy to help them quit smoking, this approach can also help. To reduce smuggling activities .

“High tobacco excise taxes have contributed to a huge tobacco black market . Complex criminal activities are taxed by buying and importing cigarettes from regions with low tobacco excise taxes in the world. Lower excise taxes will reduce the value of stolen cigarettes to petty criminals.”

Peters said that his party will reduce the price of cigarettes to $20 per pack and eliminate the excise tax on safer alternatives , stressing that this decision will not be influenced by entities with vested interests.