Illicit Tobacco Statement

The Cancer Society and Hāpai Te Hauora are concerned about the erroneous use of the KPMG report to indicate the size of the illicit tobacco market in New Zealand and the use of this information to exaggerate loss of excise revenue.

The Cancer Society of New Zealand Chief Executive Mike Kernaghan said “We support evidence based measures underpinned by rigorous research methodology, a standard that this report does not achieve” 

For example, the tobacco company-funded report primarily relies on surveys of 2000 discarded cigarette packs (on streets and in rubbish bins) to estimate the size of the illicit tobacco market in New Zealand. Both organisations question this method as it is likely to provide a poor estimate of all packs used by New Zealand smokers and is very inconsistent with the findings of studies not commissioned by the tobacco industry.  The total market for illicit tobacco in New Zealand is likely to be much smaller than is suggested in the KPMG report.

Read the full media release here.