A group of University of Otago academics went scavenging for empty cigarette packs in four cities and six towns.
All told, they collected 1310 binned packs. 45% of the scavenged ciggies were from Australia, and 16.7% were from China. Brands sold in 11 other countries completed the pile.
All up, 3.2% came from outside the country - meaning lost tax revenue for New Zealand.
From his team’s street sweep, lead researcher Dr Nick Wilson extrapolates that our government misses out on at least $36 million in lost tobacco tax and GST.