Aim: To examine smoker support for tobacco tax and for increased dedicated tobacco taxes, along with associations forany such support.
Methods: The New Zealand (NZ) arm of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey utilizes the NZ Health Survey (a national sample). From this sample, we surveyed adult smokers (N = 1,376).
Results: Most smokers considered that the current level of tobacco tax is "too high" (68%), but a majority (59%) would support an increase in tobacco tax if the extra revenue was used to promote healthy lifestyles and support quitting. There was majority support for a dedicated tobacco tax increase among all sociodemographic groups of smokers (including Māori, Pacific, and Asian smokers). In the fully adjusted multivariate model, significant associations with support for a dedicated tax increase included higher deprivation level (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.15) and suffering one form of financial stress (AOR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.18-2.78). Other significant associations with support included concern about the smoking impacts on health and quality of life (AOR = 1.41), expressing support for tobacco control regulation (AOR = 1.83), and strength of intention to quit (AOR = 1.30).
Discussion: A majority of smokers from all sociodemographic groups supported an increase in tobacco tax if it was dedicated to quitting support and health promotion. The higher support among smokers with stronger intentions to quit is consistent with other evidence that smokers value tobacco control regulation such as high taxes to help them achieve their long-term quitting goals.