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Packaging restrictions for smokeless tobacco make no sense

It is absurd that plain packaging rules implemented today will also apply to less harmful alternatives, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says, “From today, plain packaging and compulsory gruesome health warnings will apply not just to cigarettes, but also to smokeless alternatives like heated tobacco, snus, and tobacco-derived vape liquid.”

“The Government should welcome people switching away from smoking, but it appears that they would rather smokers kept puffing the durries and paying the excise tax. Smokers currently pay $1.9 billion in excise tax a year. If they switched to less harmful options like vapes, heated tobacco or snus, they would be saving money and potentially their own lives.”

“Smokeless products don’t combust, meaning users aren’t exposed to the same harmful compounds as cigarette smokers. Overseas, people use these products to quit cigarettes – a good decision for their health and wallet.”

“There’s no smoke involved in vaping, snus, or heated tobacco, and yet 13 of the 14 compulsory warnings explicitly mention ‘smoking’. This is a clear case of regulation lagging behind technology and common sense.”

“In addition, packaging restructions will apply on top of existing rules that make it illegal to communicate to smokers about less harmful tobacco products. The Government says it plans to review tobacco tax laws: let’s do it now so we can clear the air around smokeless products.”

You can read more about the issues (and write to your local MP) here: www.cleartheair.nz


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