The Government's goal to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025 is now being described as "unrealistic" by the group tasked with helping people quit.
The claim comes just after tobacco tax was hiked in the hope of turning more people off the deadly habit.
Tobacco tax jumped 10 per cent on January 1. Eight years ago a packet of 20 cost $11 on average, now it's $25.45.
That means someone who smokes a packet a day spends an extra $5274.25 every year, and a total of $9289.25 a year.
Marewa Glover of Massey University has been researching tobacco use for over 25 years and says price increases just hurt the most vulnerable who end up going without the basics.
"Now that we have a Labour-led Government, I hope that they will halt the taxes. They did that last time they were in and they preferred to put money into smoking cessation and supporting people to quit," Dr Glover said.
In a statement, the Government said it wants officials to evaluate the impact and effect of tax on tobacco consumption.
But Quitline warns that the goal of a smokefree New Zealand by 2015 is now unrealistic.
"At the current rates we're not going to achieve 2025. But I think 2018 is a great year for all of New Zealand to refocus on that goal," said Andrew Slater of Quitline.
Thirty-five per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika.
Lance Norman from Maori public health advocacy organisation Hapai Te Hauora says at a higher price, a lot of younger people are no longer taking up smoking, a positive trend.
Mr Norman says he would like to see the money from the tax increase re-invested back into smoking cessation services.