Some Hawke's Bay dairy owners believe new smoke-free laws could slash their livelihoods.
Under the new scheme, Auahi Kore Aotearoa Mahere Rautaki 2025, the Smokefree 2025 action plan, only tobacco products containing very low-level nicotine will be able to be sold. At the same time, children under 14 will not be able to legally purchase tobacco.
Rupinder Jeet, owner of the Corner Store Dairy in Meeanee, said he sells between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of cigarettes a week, sometimes more.
"I think the law change could kill businesses, small businesses especially. We get a lot of income from it, and if someone walks in to get smokes they will get other stuff as well like lollies, drinks, pies and stuff like that," he said.
He doesn't expect the law changes to end the sale of full-strength tobacco cigarettes or smoking.
"I think if we don't sell cigarettes legally they will be in the black market, like cannabis. They can't stop people smoking just by changing the law."
Irene Prasaad, owner of Shakespeare Rd Mini Market, said she has owned her corner store for about 20 years, and the shop had been running in Napier for much longer.
"People can see in the museum that there was a corner store here and it's still running. I've got the pictures in my shop showing that when the train tracks were here, we were here, still running. Even if I'm not here, even if someone else is here, I'd like to keep it going," she said.
She fears for the future of the business with the law change because of the draw tobacco products are for customers.
"It'll be a shame to shut down just because we can't sell smokes."
She said the government restrictions will only push more young people to an unsafe tobacco black market and hurt small businesses in years to come.
"If they can't have this, they might turn to something worse. Those people might have been fine, but then they are driven into the wrong hands."
She said she understands what the Government was trying to do, but they have already put too much pressure on retailers with strict rules and regulations.
"It's very hard with everything coming up. They're putting more pressure on businesses with this and Covid, among others."
A statement from the Dairy and Business Owners' Group said dairy owners want compensation and a massive boost in security for their businesses now that they know they cannot stop the smoke-free plan.
The group will ask for a meeting with the Associate Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Police to discuss their concerns.
Sunny Kaushal, chair of the Dairy and Business Owners' Group, said in the statement 4,000 dairies and owner-operated service stations reimagine their businesses would require compensation to reimagine their businesses.
"We now face 'dairygeddon', where the South Island's entire West Coast may only have one or two legal outlets. Instead, give dairies back vape flavours - that will at least stop the flight to the black market and provide real options for smokers and a way forward for dairies."
He said the low nicotine cigarettes in the law would likely be genetically engineered tobacco sold at a 10th of current outlets, and dairy owners would face an increasing risk of assault, robbery and potential death from people trying to get full-strength tobacco before the law change.
"The gangs are the big winners as they'll set up 'ciggie houses' selling full-strength tobacco alongside the 'tinnie houses.'"
Ministry of Health advice on the action plan notes retailer concerns and states that there will be an adverse effect on small businesses that currently sell tobacco.
However, it also states that research suggests the potential impact of the policy may be overstated by retailers.
The plan is within one of six, what Labour call "game-changing focus areas", that aim to make NZ smoke-free by 2025.
Alongside the smoke-free generation, there will be low nicotine products and product design restrictions, fewer shops selling tobacco and enforcement of laws within the tobacco and retail sectors.
Greater Māori leadership and decision-making is being introduced, more money for health promotion and community activities, including investment to "sign-post" support for people quitting smoking and more wraparound support with a focus on community diversity.