Robberies have increased in the last 12 months by 78% with cigarettes the main target.
CEO of the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores Dave Hooker said legalising vaping or liquid nicotine would be a possible option to stop tobacco robberies.
He said it would “give any retailers the opportunity to sell another product instead of tobacco and replace lost tobacco sales.”
He says legisation aimed at legalising vaping is moving slowly and if cigarettes weren't so expensive they wouldn't be targetted by thieves.
Dave Hooker's comments come after a spate of robberies which have left dairy workers too scared to go to work. He says some shops have been robbed multiple times and staff feel its not a question of if they will be hit again but when.
Tobacco makes up forty to sixty percent of dairies turnovers.