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Cigarette Butt on Auction for $5,400


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Cigarette Butt on Auction for $5,400

Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:32 AM ET

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A cigarette smoked in the dying seconds before New Zealand smoke-free laws came into effect last year is set to fetch more than NZ$7,500 ($5,400) in an Internet auction.

The butt, witnessed as smoked at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 9 by the owners of an Auckland bar, has exceeded its NZ$1 reserve price by NZ$7,574 on New Zealand-based Internet web auction site TradeMe (www.trademe.co.nz).

It costs about NZ$10 to buy a packet of cigarettes in New Zealand.

The successful bidder when the auction closes Thursday will also get a certificate of authenticity and a mounted display case. The partially smoked cigarette was described on the Web site as a "priceless Kiwiana collector's item." New Zealand extended its smoke-free laws on Dec. 10, 2004, to ban smoking in most indoor venues, sparking complaints from smokers and bar and cafe owners.

© Reuters 2005. All rights reserved.


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