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New Zealand’s smokers are paying through the nose for cigarettes after a decade of annual price increases. The average smoker will spend over $100 on cigarettes each week, more than double what they would have spent in 2011.

But while most attribute that rapid increase solely to tax increases, analysis shows that New Zealand’s tobacco companies used annual tax increases as cover for significant voluntary price increases. These have radically increased tobacco companies’ profit margin while subsidising attempts to attract new smokers and keep current customers addicted for as long as possible.