Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Proponents Also Concerned About Many Vape Shops

“It’s vaping advocates who first raised concerns about the proliferation of dairies becoming specialist vape retailers (SVRs). New Zealand’s Asthma and Respiratory Foundation’s (ARFNZ) latest round of public scaremongering is not helpful,” says Nancy Loucas, co-founder of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).

Her comments follow the ARFNZ, on its latest anti-vaping media drive, highlighting that ‘in February 2022 there were 666 registered specialist vape retailers in New Zealand and as of today we now have 956’.

“Not one Kiwi has reportedly died from vaping, yet 5,000 die every year from smoking-related illnesses. Despite this, the ARFNZ continues to obsess about the most effective smoking cessation tool we have. Its latest media beat up doesn’t help one Kiwi quit tobacco nor help New Zealand achieve Smokefree Aotearoa 2025,” she says.

Ms Loucas says ARFNZ should focus on ending the tobacco scourge that continues to wreck families and communities, rather than try to relitigate the country’s vaping legislation which Parliament and health leaders well scrutinised and debated in 2020.

“The latest Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill is all about making tobacco products less appealing and less accessible. ARFNZ needs to focus on the task at hand, not get side-tracked with its latest push to rid society of nicotine. It’s tobacco that kills,” she says.

AVCA has repeatedly raised this year that while most dedicated and genuine standalone SVRs are working well, problems remain with the likes of dairies partitioning off part of their shops to be SVRs, enabling them to sell a full range of flavours.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Since 2020 only licenced SVRs can stock all flavours. General retailers such as dairies are limited to selling just mint, menthol, and tobacco flavours.

“There are too many dairies now claiming to be SVRs when they are clearly not. The main issues can be sorted out within the existing vaping regulations. It just needs greater attention and more resourcing. It doesn’t require additional legislation,” she says.

AVCA has also continued to call for rogue dairy owners who sell vapes to minors to have the book thrown at them. Significant sanctions apply to those retailers who break the R18 rule which should now be strictly enforced. AVCA believes the Government’s ‘education’ period has long expired.

“Every time ARFNZ publicly campaign against vaping, not smoking, it only puts smokers off switching to the most viable alternative. ARFNZ fails to recognise that Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall continues to promote ‘supporting people who smoke tobacco to successfully switch to less harmful products’,” she says

AVCA says New Zealand’s overall smoking rate has halved over the past decade largely due to vaping and the regulation of it, with Public Health England resolute that nicotine vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking combustible tobacco.

“New Zealand has adopted a Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategy that has worked a treat, with many countries envious of our falling smoking rate. Only last month, a Malaysian parliamentary delegation visited to understand how we’re managing to achieve Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 – where five percent of fewer smoke. ARFNZ’s constant scaremongering about vaping puts that all at risk,” says Nancy Loucas.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Smokefree Laws Debacle

The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable view is that the government was being deliberately misleading. Are we to think Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is a fool or a liar? It seems rather early on in his term of office to be facing that unpleasant choice... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.