News 2013

News 2013


Price rising for cigarettes and tobacco from 1 January 2014

Price has risen from $15 to $17.50 for a 20s pack of manufactured cigarettes, and from $34 to $39 for a 30 g pouch of RYOs.


Excise tax rose 11.28% on 1 January 2014

Tax in rising 11.28% on Jan 1, from $490.1/1000 in 2013 to $545.39 per 1000 cigarettes in 2014. RYO tobacco excise will rise to $777.18 per 1 Kg of tobacco content, with excise on a standard cigarette (0.7g tobacco) at $544.03.


Plain packs bill advanced

18 Dec 2013

Hon Tariana Turia has placed her Plain Packs bill on the agenda for early 2014.


Industry planning

3 December

BAT to bring in E-cigarettes for testing in New Zealand

BAT (British American Tobacco) is currently in the final stages of making application to the MHRA (Medicines Health Products Regulatory Authority) in the UK for permission to sell two products

Noke, a metered dose inhaler, without vapour, not an electronic cigarette, which produces 20 sucks of 450 micrograms nicotine, before another cartridge reload is necessary.

“Nicodex” (soon to be renamed), an electronic cigarette, with vapour, which produces 20 sucks of 500 micrograms nicotine before another reload is necessary.


Approval in the UK could come within one to three months. After that, the same process of approval could follow in NZ. There is no apparent barrier to such a medicine being approved in NZ, once it is approved in the UK. Nicoventures, BAT’s new subsidiary in Sydney will be negotiating for approval in NZ and nearby markets.


The price would be lower than for cigarettes, especially in New Zealand, where the excise is legislated to rise by 10 percent on 1 January 2014, and again by 10 percent in 2015 and in 2016.


29 November 2013 Christchurch

Voluntary standard

Health NZ testing programme In the absence of standard-setting by governments up until now, Health NZ Ltd has submitted ten popular e-cigarette brands (NZ, UK, USA) for nicotine and toxicological vapour testing against the Health NZ standard. The results show that the e-cigarette used in the Lancet published trial had 33% of the Nicotine per puff (20 mcg/puff) that the leading brands now sold in NZ now have (45-59 micrograms per puff). More results are expected soon.

The results show that two brands were successful in reaching the standard:

Elusion Ego with clearomiser. 1st on lowest price, 2nd on nicotine per puff, 2nd on persuading smokers to switch.

Greensmoke with cartomiser. 1st on nicotine per puff, 1st on persuading smokers to switch.


23 October 2013 in Auckland

World’s first scientific conference on e-cigarettes




8 September 2013 in Barcelona

World’s first large trial of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation

The ASCEND clinical trial results now being analysed will be presented at

1) the European Respiratory Society annual meeting in Barcelona 8 September 2013, and again at

2) The Gateway smokefree conference 23 October by principal investigator Assoc Professor Chris Bullen, National Institute of Health Innovation (NIHI), University of Auckland.

Dr Murray Laugesen is a co-investigator for this trial.



NZ Herald 4 March 2013

$40 a pack to hit “smokefree” goal

For text see:


Oral presentation, 19th International Annual Meeting, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Boston 13-16 March 2013.




Randolph C. Grace PhD, Aimee Richardson BSc(Hons), Donna Ritchie BA Univ. of Canterbury NZ, Murray Laugesen* FNZCPHM, Health New Zealand Ltd, Bronwyn Kivell PhD,Victoria Univ. of Wellington, Nathan Cowie MPH, Univ. of Auckland.


BACKGROUND In 2011-12, 17% of New Zealand adults age 15 and over smoked daily. Government bans tobacco promotions and indoor smoking in workplaces and hospitality venues, supports a ‘smokefree nation’ goal by 2025, and is increasing tobacco excise 10% annually to 2016 when 20 factory-made (FM) cigarettes will likely cost >$20.

METHODS In 2012, 343 smokers age 18 and over who purchased their own cigarettes were recruited on worksites and by newspaper publicity, interviewed face to face in four cities and rewarded with $15 (NZ$, 1 NZ$= 0.85 USD) and a chance to win an electronic tablet. Smokers supplied demographics, addiction scores and estimated future smoking consumption against 64 prices from zero to $5 per cigarette, ie $100/ pack of 20 FMs in 2012$.

RESULTS Cigarette purchase task (CPT) method (MacKillop 2012) generated demand curves that were not significantly different for FM and roll-your-own (RYO) smokers, (FM median breakpoint $24; RYO $26; all, $25) allowing pooled analysis. Mean values: 67% smoked FM, paying $0.72; 33% smoked RYO, at $0.38, each containing 0.4g tobacco. Cigarettes per day (cpd) overall were 14.9, cost $0.58. At $14 for 20, 2% of current smokers would quit; at $19, 16%; at $20, 25%; at $25, 50% would quit (the breakpoint); at $28, 60%; at $30, 65%; at $35, 72%; at $40, 75%; at $50, 80%. Breakpoint price intention was unrelated to age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, or addiction scores.

CONCLUSIONS Greatly increased quit attempts are expected, as price increases from $19 to $25 a packet. Planned excise increases if continued past 2016 would by 2018 lift price to the $25 breakpoint, at which price <10% of adults intend to smoke; and by 2021 would lift price to $35, at which price <5% of adults intend to smoke. Further surveys are planned to track intentions against future changes made. Given widespread intention to quit if price increases a range of policies and products is needed to assist smokers to make their intentions come true.




Census and consumption data agree

In the calendar years 2006 to 2013 daily tobacco and cigarette smoking participation per adult (1 RYO = 1 g tobacco) including cigars and cigarillos) reduced from 20.7% to 15.1%, a fall of 27.1% points over 7 years.

For the calendar years 2006 to 2012 cigarette, tobacco and cigar and cigarillo consumption decreased from 976 to 741 cigarettes per adult counted traditionally (1RYO=1.g tobacco), a decrease of 24.1% points.

The decreases in consumption and smoking did not start until April 2010 when the excise tax increased.

This suggests that a decrease in consumption and smoking since 2010 was accounted entirely by smokers quitting.


Tobacco reduction

Consumption down

Due to the tax increase on 1 Jan 2012, consumption fell 4.9 percent in the year to December 2012 in terms of standard cigarettes (1 RYO =0.7g), and fell 4.8 percent in terms of RYO cigarettes traditionally counted as containing 1 g tobacco. – Health New Zealand analysis found at


Opinion 11 Jul 2013

'Vaping' a healthier way for NZ

A positive policy for an intractable problem.

The Government should open the way for e-cigarettes, argues Murray Laugesen  



Two thirds would use e-cigarettes, if available, to quit or reduce smoking

Late breaking poster, 19th International Annual Meeting, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Boston 13-16 March 2013.




Randolph C. Grace PhD, Aimee Richardson BSc(Hons), Donna Ritchie BA Univ. of Canterbury NZ, Murray Laugesen* FNZCPHM, Health New Zealand Ltd, Bronwyn Kivell PhD, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, Nathan Cowie MPH, Univ. of Auckland.


BACKGROUND Nicotine electronic cigarettes (NECs) were illegal to sell or advertise in New Zealand during 2012, where 17% of adults smoke tobacco cigarettes daily.

METHODS Smokers age 18 and over who purchased their own cigarettes were recruited on worksites and by newspaper publicity; 343 were interviewed face to face in four cities and rewarded with $15 (NZ$; 1 NZ$ = 0.85 USD.) and a chance to win an electronic tablet. Participants completed the Cigarette Purchase Task (CPT; MacKillop et al., 2008) in which they reported how many cigarettes per day they would smoke at various price points. Then they sampled an NEC and rated preference for it against their own brand on a 10-point scale. The NEC used was SafeCig 18mg (SafeCig LLC. Los Angeles), notionally priced at $5 per day.

RESULTS Participants smoked a mean 14.9 cigarettes per day (cpd) and spent $8.72 daily on cigarettes, 33% paying $0.38 per roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco cigarette, 67% paying $0.72 per factory-made (FM) cigarette. After 3 puffs from the NEC, smokers liked it 83% as much as their own brand: average preference ratings for NEC and own brand were 6.26 and 7.51, respectively. If cigarettes cost $0.70 each, smokers estimated they would smoke 14.5 cpd, but only 7.08 cpd if they could buy NECs (t[312] = 15.39, p < .001). Using NECs 31.6% said they would quit smoking their own brand completely. If cigarette price doubled to $1.40, 59.5% of smokers estimated they would quit, and a further 11.1% would quit by using NECs if NECs were on sale at $5 a day. Those continuing to smoke at this price would smoke 10.63 cpd; but if NECs were on sale, would smoke 6.34 cpd (t[125] = 4.29, p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS At $0.70 per cigarette, (about the price of an FM cigarette) and if NECs cost $5 a day, three in ten smokers would use NECs to switch off tobacco smoking entirely. If the price of cigarettes doubled, price would be the main motivator of quitting, but even more intended to quit if NECs were on sale. Most smokers liked the NEC and given its price advantage, especially as tobacco excise increases, many would switch to NECs and stop smoking tobacco, if NECs were available.


Legislation 30 January 2013.

Plain packaging: where Australia goes NZ is likely to follow

Submissions are now published.

Dr Murray Laugesen made a submission October 2, 2012 to the Ministry of Health in support of Plain packaging of tobacco products. Based on his support for this issue since 1990, he said

“the arguments are strong, and the action is justified, on the grounds of stopping glamourisation of the pack, whether or not sales can be shown to reduce after standardisation of the packs. Deglamorisation of the pack is likely to reduce adolescent uptake of smoking. …


“The current legal market continues to account for one in six funerals in this country. It is 50 years this year since the Royal College of Physicians London’s first report against smoking as a cause of lung cancer. It is high time to deglamourise the cigarette packaging with a law on standard plain packs.”


“Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia and her officials are to be congratulated, and her Government for fully supporting this move.”

- Murray Laugesen QSO, WHO tobacco or health medal, FRCS FNZCPHM


NZ submissions can be accessed at


A law phasing out cigarette sales can save 4000 lives and $22 billion annually

Copyright Health New Zealand 2013. All rights reserved.