Beating tobacco price hikes

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 01/09/2012
david limbe
John Bisset
HOME GROWN: David Limbe has planted tobacco seeds in the hope of saving money as the cost of cigarettes rises.

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A Rangitata smoker is bucking tobacco excise tax and growing his own.

David Limbe spent a staggering $2.60 on 300 seeds that he recently potted.

He hopes to have a bumper harvest come March.

The seeds will be separated around Labour Weekend and planted in a plot outdoors.

Tobacco plants can grow up to two metres tall with massive leaves which are dried and cured at harvest.

"They originate in America; they're a tomato plant really," he says.

Mr Limbe says the real lesson will be when it comes to drying and curing the leaves.

"It is a process which I have to learn; you can stuff it up if you don't cure it properly."

He says the skyrocketing price of tobacco spurred him to grow his own.

"This option is healthier than normal tobacco because it doesn't have all the additives. It's also a lot cheaper; I smoke because I'm addicted but I can't really afford it. The cost is ridiculous.

"I think the tax is too high.

"They should ban it rather than sell it at ridiculous prices."

Mr Limbe says he has smoked home-grown tobacco before.

"It was quite good."

It is legal to purchase seeds and grow and smoke tobacco in New Zealand. It is not permitted to sell or give tobacco away.

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- South Canterbury

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